By MARK TODD
The popular boardwalk at Township Park, bisected by Mother Nature this past summer, soon will be whole again.
A metal foot bridge is being assembled over a small stream that empties into Lake Erie. When finished, the bridge will connect the boardwalk that stretches nearly the entire length of the half-mile beach. The frame of the 50-foot span is already in place and the deck will be installed very soon, said David Dickson, the park’s superintendent.
The new bridge replaces a wooden version weakened by a torrential rainstorm in early summer, Dickson said. “It was a three-hour downpour,” he said.
Water cascaded down Kelsey’s Run, the tiny stream that splits the park. At the mouth of the stream, where the old bridge stood, the rushing water wore away at the foundation, making the span unsafe, Dickson said.
“So much water came down the stream that it couldn’t get into the lake quick enough,” he said. “It was eating out the sides (of the stream).”
The new bridge sits atop a foundation built to withstand a duplicate deluge, Dickson said. First, the stream was widened from 15 to 30 feet to reduce the hydraulic effect of swirling water, he said. Also, the stones that form the base are now fastened together by pins for stability and are positioned in a way to direct water away from the sides, Dickson said.
Conneaut Excavating Co., is installing the bridge, Dickson said.