After a flood-related closure last summer, nearby Gwillim Lake Provincial Park is scheduled to reopen in time for the May 2012 long weekend.
The park was closed July 10, 2011, after flooding collapsed the only access road and damaged drainage culverts.
Acting on engineers' recommendations, BC Parks will be replacing the culverts with a permanent 15-metre single-lane bridge built to withstand future flooding events. The new bridge will be installed in time for the spring opening.
The construction schedule will take into consideration weather conditions such as spring runoff and an optimal fisheries window, i.e., the best time to build that will have the least impact on fish.
The actual work on the ground will consist of shaping, excavating and restoring 500 metres of river bed. This is needed to ensure the river will continue to provide habitat for fish given that it is one of the important spawning locations for the fish of Gwillim Lake.
Located about midway between Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd, Gwillim Lake is popular among locals for fishing, boating and camping.
Blair Lekstrom, MLA for Peace River South -
"With good fishing and great scenery, Gwillim Lake is one of our area's nicest provincial parks, and the fact that it will reopen this year is good news for all South Peace residents."
"This work by BC Parks will help ensure access to the park and help protect valuable fish habitat."
Environment Minister Terry Lake -
"We apologize for the inconvenience to park users over the past several months, but we wanted to avoid this happening again in the future. The new structure is a long-term solution that will address flooding and allow seasonal access to the park."
For more information about Gwillim Lake Provincial Park or any other B.C. provincial park, please visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/index.html
Ministry of Environment