Following a rash of vandalism in the summer of 2011, access to the Bridge Creek waterfalls trail in Centennial Park had to be limited on Sept. 12 because one of the trail’s two wooden bridges was unsafe for public use.
District of 100 Mile House staff contacted the environment ministry to get the proper procedure for extracting the side rail from the creek and talked to the ministry about eventual replacement of the two bridges.
Two weeks later, Mayor Mitch Campsall said they were likely to be closed until at least the spring of 2012. He noted the bridges would probably have to be replaced and the district would like to repair the trails at the same time, but that would require coming up with a budget.
In March 2012, Campsall announced the district had been approved for $280,000 grant that would see repairs to the waterfalls trail, including drainage improvements, regrading and signage, and replacement of the two bridges.
The Ministry of the Community, Sport and Cultural Development’s Community Recreation Program provided 80 per cent of the project funding and the district had to put up the remainder.
On Aug. 13, the main waterfalls trail was closed to the public, so Bree Contracting Ltd. of 100 Mile could fix the trail and replace the two bridges.
Company owner Trevor Embree widened and recapped the trail from the top of the hill (below the district campsite) to about two-thirds of the way down the trail to the falls. The final third of the project was ditched and culverted, so the runoff and spring seepage would drain through a rock-filtering system and the flow into the creek.
This was done while the new aluminum bridges were being constructed in New Westminster.
On Oct. 10, district community services director Garry Laursen said Bree Contracting had come in under budget and was able to gravel the trail all the way down from the district campsite to the parking lot.
Furthermore, it allowed the district to upgrade and fence an existing 120-metre trail that runs from the bridge on Horse Lake Road to Blackstock subdivision.
On Nov. 7, the two new aluminum bridges – one 40 feet long and the other 50 feet – were lowered into place on a 150-foot cable by a helicopter, owned by Klint Sarver of Sarvair Helicopters of 100 Mile. The whole operation went very smoothly and took about 10 minutes.