Gil Larsen Trail Boardwalk Replacement
They also worked on the frame for the new boardwalk, and would later install new decking. Work started on the project earlier in the week when the crew tore out the old boardwalk.
“The old boardwalk was forty-plus years old and starting to show its age -- built on posts on a shelf above the creek. Plus, it was recently damaged by a tree that fell across it in September,” explained City of Bayfield Parks and Recreation Committee chair Kate Kitchell. “With more and more people using the Gil Larsen—many with children, the Committee determined that it would be wise to stabilize the structure as well as add railing. It’s a much nicer viewing area for the waterfalls, and easier for people to take pictures.”
“There we go!” whooped volunteer Gene Lemmenes, lowering his sledgehammer after driving a piece of rebar through the boardwalk frame. “It’s amazing we haven’t hit any rock. Look at it! Loose rocks up there, loose rocks everywhere; you’d think there would be bedrock.”
“It’s a hybrid between a crib wall and a boardwalk,” Will explained. “The crib will help prevent future erosion and keep the hillside in place. And because we’re replacing the boardwalk, it won’t really change the look.” Will has been busy during the trail-building season working on projects all the way from the Cable area up the Iron Range. Kate calls him, “A project leader extraordinaire!”
Will thought the project was going smoothly and was especially grateful to the Coast Guard for carrying the six-by-six beams and other materials down the Sweeny Switchback and across the stream to a more accessible staging area.
The completed boardwalk. Click images to enlarge.
The new boardwalk was funded by the City of Bayfield over two fiscal years. Many thanks to volunteers Bill Bland, Kate Kitchell, Gene Lemmenes, Scott Nesvold, Keith Ray, and Pete Rothe, who helped with the project.
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