Points to make on Waldie walkway

Boardwalk builder weighs in on issue touched upon by story in the Feb. 21 edition on the West Kootenay Advertiser

It is gratifying to see that the Castlegar Friends of Parks and Trails Society is finally committing to repair the Waldie boardwalks. The delaying tactics employed by the society to ‘study the problem’ have aggravated what would have been a relatively easy fix.

I built the boardwalks to handle Columbia River flows of up to 60,000 cfs (for the Low Water Boardwalk) and up to 85,000 cfs (for the High Water Boardwalk). That means the walkways were passable up to those water levels. The guide posts were designed to retain them in place to 95,000 cfs; flows higher than that required an extension of the posts, which could easily have been done with a boat (as I had to do with the footbridge in 1996). The 2012 flows peaked at a little over 110,000 cfs at Waldie, and consequently the walkways floated off the top of the guidance system.

It would have been an easy matter to re-secure the boardwalks once the water started to recede. The sections are exceedingly heavy and can only be floated back into position. It is doubtful the water will ever be high enough again to repair the High Water Boardwalk by that method, and some sections may need to be completely dismantled and rebuilt.

The Low Water Boardwalk is much easier to repair once the sections are separated and floated back into position. As there has been talk of abandoning this boardwalk, I feel I must present here a case for its retention. I designed it to discourage pedestrian traffic from using the ecologically-sensitive beaches, and to offer to the trail user the most attractive passage through the Waldie Wetland. That boardwalk enabled Ducks Unlimited to contribute to the purchase of Waldie Island as a heron reserve. The organization cannot fund land acquisition per se, but could pay for wetland enhancement work that my efforts there represented. Furthermore, the Waldie boardwalks reflect a tremendous outlay of donated materials and volunteer time, so that the actual financial cost for their construction was only about $2,000. Thus the legacy of the boardwalks runs a little deeper than may be apparent.

The footbridge would have been lost by the delaying tactics had not some of the original non-society volunteers captured it as it was being swept away by the recent high water in January, floated it over the bridge piers, and re-attached it to the guide posts. We learned a long time ago to react to circumstances as they develop, and to take advantage of opportunities as they are presented.

I do hope that the reference to further minimizing environmental impact implies that the trail society will finally attempt to deal with the dog issue on Waldie Island Trail so as to come into agreement with the Nature Trust of BC management plant for the site, and the recommendations presented by Marlene Machmer to the society two years ago.

I do believe the Waldie Island Trail is the most valuable trail in the Castlegar vicinity, not because of its proximity to the city, but rather by virtue of its historical connections and its unique ecological setting. I would be happy to contribute my ideas to guide the repair process.

 

Walter Volovsek,

Castlegar

Just Posted

South Slocan woman killed in Friday crash

Police continue to investigate cause of fatal crash

Castlegar’s Stanley Humphries School’s got talent

Talent show to be held Feb. 21 at Brilliant Cultural Centre

What’s Up: Things to see and do on Family Day

There’s plenty of fun to be had across the West Kootenay this coming long weekend!

Province announces $23 million for upgrades at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board has yet to review the provincial proposal

Selkirk College Saints score pair of crucial wins

Stellar goaltending and timely goals lead to victory over the Vancouver Island University Mariners.

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

East Kootenay mine deaths prompt safety initiatives

Teck produces educational video, introduces new procedures after contractor drowns at Fording River

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

Most Read