a helicopter flies in the first of four towers to anchor the Elk Falls Suspension Bridge. The towers were flown in above Elk Falls Canyon on Friday.

Chopper flies in to aid Elk Falls Suspension Bridge project

The much-anticipated suspension bridge over Elk Falls canyon is one step closer to completion

The much-anticipated suspension bridge over Elk Falls canyon is one step closer to completion.

Last Friday, a helicopter flew in the four anchors that will hold the suspension bridge in place. The chopper brought the large towers in one by one and each piece was lowered down onto the rocks above the canyon where construction crews awaited their arrival.

The bridge, a project of the Campbell River Rotary Club, has been delayed because of evolving plans and the precision needed to drill into the rocks to anchor the bridge.

Lorrie Bewza, president of the Rotary Club and suspension bridge project chair, said Friday that the bridge – expected to be complete in the fall –  could be finished sometime in early 2015.

Bewza is hoping it will be open by spring.

Once complete, the suspension bridge will stretch 64 metres long and hang 60 metres above Elk Falls.

There will also be two new viewing platforms on either side of the bridge. The first platform as users come off the new trail between Elk Falls and the new 80-stall Elk Falls parking lot, will be wheelchair accessible and offer a front facing view of the falls.

Chopper

Construction crews on the Elk Falls Suspension Bridge project secure one of the bridge’s four towers that were dropped off via helicopter above Elk Falls Canyon on Friday.

“The elevated walkway and stairs will connect from the start of the suspension bridge to an elevated and cantilevered viewing platform that will give visitors a direct view of Elk Falls from the top all the way down to the canyon floor,” Bewza told the Mirror in September. “This view will be spectacular.”

The project is being made possible by $124,500 in funding from the Campbell River Rotary Club, $150,000 from BC Hydro, as well as a federal government grant for $86,650.

The project has also received a grant from Island Coastal Economic Trust, funded by the provincial government, in the amount of $325,000.

Bewza said Rotary has received “exceptional support and assistance from BC Hydro” over the past five years the group has been working on the suspension bridge project.

Hydro, which has been working in the area on the John Hart Generating Station Replacement project, has provided Rotary with copies of topographical and geo-technical reports which Bewza said saved the Rotary Club time and money.