As work continues on the north section of the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Boardwalk, the tranquil sights of nature are still being enjoyed by residents out for a stroll along the southern section.
Kathleen Burton, executive director at the nature sanctuary, said being able to keep part of the boardwalk open during the $320,000 first phase of the boardwalk renovations has been welcome news for visitors to the sanctuary.
“It means that while we renovate, hikers, birders and everyone else who loves spending time in the natural heart of the city will still be able to cross over the open water of the boardwalk across to a turnaround point at the construction site,” she said.
Knappett Construction is on site, with site prep and investigation completed for the environmentally sensitive project which must be completed in a window of July 15 to Sept. 15. The structure of the former run-down boardwalk has now been removed and six of the fabricated floats have been delivered and are being installed.
“They are on schedule, which is amazing considering each float section is huge,” said Burton. “You can’t just hand cart them into place, they have to be craned, and the crew from Knappett has been incredible. They are taking great care in moving each section, carefully lifting the floats and fibreglass decking into place replacing the old boardwalk weathered by forces of nature.”
The boardwalk, originally constructed in 1991, is being replaced with a structure using aluminum framing and a fibreglass decking surface, giving it a much longer lifespan.
“The boardwalk replacement has been contemplated for some years with the small north portion of it being completed this summer due to it being the area in most disrepair, that and it is all that current funding will allow,” said Stephen Chang, Bridges to Nature campaign chair. “A fundraising campaign is underway to raise the balance of the funds required in order to complete phase two – the section crossing the lake from the north to the south side in the future. The sanctuary’s efforts today will go a long way towards building a foundation for the campaign, ultimately providing a foundation for continuing on with phase two of the floating boardwalk replacement project.”
To learn more about the project or to make a donation, visit the society’s website at swanlake.bc.ca/capital-project.php.