The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

September 22, 2013

Township Park wooden boardwalk replacement work will wait until 2014

Staff Writer

CONNEAUT — No decision has been reached on how to replace the wooden Township Park boardwalk, said Gary Coxon, president of the park’s Board of Commissioners.

The subject is still being discussed and researched, Coxon said recently. “It’s something we’re still working on,” he said.

Earlier this summer, the board said they were studying ways to repair or replace the wooden walkway that traverses the park’s big beach. Sections are splintered and boards have become loose, posing a safety hazard, members said.

Members are mulling their options, which include replacing the old boardwalk with fresh wood or another material, such as concrete or a composite substance. The board is comparing cost and durability of each of the choices, Coxon said.

Right now, members seem to favor using wood in the replacement project, Coxon said. Initially, members had hoped some work could begin this fall. Instead, the project won’t begin until 2014, giving the board more time to study the situation, Coxon said.

“It’s something we don’t have to decide this minute,” he said.

The first section of the boardwalk was created in 1994 as a project of the Conneaut Rotary Club. The first stretch linked the beachfront pavilion to the edge of Lake Erie. Since then, hundreds of feet have been added to the network, allowing people a sand-free way to reach the water from different locations.

Meanwhile, a footbridge over Kelsey’s Run — the small stream that bisects the boardwalk near the water’s edge — will be replaced soon, said David Dickson, park superintendent. Rushing water generated by a fierce rainstorm a few weeks ago damaged the supports and the wooden bridge, he said.

The stream bed near the bridge is being widen to disperse the flow of storm water, Dickson said. Also, a metal bridge is being assembled and could be installed in a few weeks, he said.