The decking on Campbell River’s latest attraction is being laid – and as each plank is put down, the Elk Falls Suspension Bridge is getting closer and closer to completion.
The much-anticipated bridge, which will stretch 64 metres long and hang 60 metres above Elk Falls, is scheduled to open to the public in the spring.
Permanent cables have been strung across Elk Falls Canyon and connected to four anchors bolted into the rock at each end of the bridge.
Lorrie Bewza, president of the Rotary Club and suspension bridge project chair, said the project has hit some significant milestones recently.
“Late last week, construction crews bolted into place the decking and fencing, working from the south side of the canyon (the side that connects to the Millennium Trail),” Bewza said. “The contractor will complete the decking, then attach fencing, handrail and other safety features to the bridge.”
A portion of one of two new viewing platforms has also been constructed.
“On the south side you can see the elevated walkway and stairs leading down to the elevated viewing platform that will provide the visitor a view of Elk Falls from the top to the bottom of Elk Falls Canyon where the world famous Campbell River starts,” Bewza said.
The platform is accessible to users coming off the new trail between Elk Falls and the new 80-stall Elk Falls parking lot. The platform will be wheelchair accessible and offer a front facing view of the falls. The second viewing platform will be located on the other, northern side of the suspension bridge.
The entire project has been made possible by $124,500 in funding from the Campbell River Rotary Club, a $150,000 contribution from BC Hydro, a federal government grant for $86,650 and $325,000 from the Island Coastal Economic Trust. Hydro, which is working in the vicinity of Elk Falls on the John Hart Generating Station replacement project, has also provided Rotary with copies of topographical and geo-technical reports which have saved the Rotary Club time and money.