The project to build a new Campbell River entrance feature took a big step towards reality recently when a key component of the structure was acquired.
Sealand Aviation is donating a complete Beaver floatplane to serve as an entrance feature to the Campbellton entrance to Campbell River. Bill Alder and Nancy Marshall acquired the final component, the fuselage, and are ready to begin assembling it over the next year.
The concept involves placing a complete floatplane on a concrete platform and pylon to hold it up in the air. The feature has been set for a space between the lanes of Highway 19 as it comes down the hill into Campbellton at 14th Avenue.
The project is being done under the auspices of the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association which has been working on improving the historic district and re-asserting its place as the northern entrance into the City of Campbell River. To that end, projects are focused on enhancing the northern gateway with Highway 19A improvements, park establishment and enhancing public access to the Campbell River itself as it passes through Campbellton.
A gathering of city, neighbourhood and Sealand principals got a look at the fuselage on Monday in an effort to encourage business and volunteers to step up and complete the project without using municipal funding.
Alder supports this project because it speaks to Campbell River’s aviation heritage and future.
“I’m really pushing aviation in Campbell River,” Alder said. “It’s (the feature) kind of unique, I don’t know of any Beavers in Canada sitting on a pylon. I can just visulalize it driving down that hill. It’s going to be something.”
Alder said that if all the aspects of the project come together in good time, the project could be completed in a year. Besides the fuselage, Sealand Aviation has all the other components of a Beaver floatplane – floats, wings, etc.
“We have lots and lots of parts kicking around here,” Alder said. “We have pretty much all the other components.”
The fuselage was originally acquired for a customer in Texas but that project fell through.
“During the process we built up a bare-bones fuselage for them to take down there to do some structural testing on it,” Alder said.
Sealand Aviation, City of Campbell River and Campbellton Neighbourhood Association principals pose with a complete Beaver floatplane, which is how the floatplane that will grace the northern entrance to Campbell River will look at Highway 19 and 14th Avenue. Alistair Taylor/Campbell River Mirror