Photos and story by: Korie Marshall

The bridge over Bulldog Creek, damaged in a slide last spring and closed last fall, is being repaired. The repair of the bridge means users will again be able to access the East Canoe Forest Service Road past the 27 kilometer mark.

“It’s a fairly expensive repair in order to do what we need to and make sure it stays there,” says Mike Darin, Engineering Technician for BC Timber Sales. He says the cost is around half a million dollars, and they anticipate it will be open by June 15th.

Darin says they made the decision to repair the road because they are still looking for timber down there, and they wanted to maintain their access, as well as maintaining it for other users. Trappers, outfitting guides and hunters also use the access road, as well as ATV riders and sightseers.

The Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations had closed the East Canoe road at the bridge last November, because of damage to the support pilings caused by a blow-out of the creek last spring. Rock and debris washed down the creek, scoured away much of the bank supporting the south end of the bridge. The south end of the bridge had been extended previously, when there was an earlier wash out of the south supports for the bridge.

Dave Craig, one of the sub-contractors for the primary contractor Landmark Solutions from Salmon River, says they’ve had to pack sand and rock at different levels around the existing pilings on the south bank, behind steel plating. The original bridge decking is still in place, and is safe to drive across now, though crews are still working to finish the upper layers of protection for the pilings. A temporary bridge was built over the creek to allow access to the south side to complete the work.

The road will still be closed at 41 kilometer, where it was damaged by a previous slide. “We won’t be able to deal with that site until next year, but we want to maintain our access,” says Darin.

BC Timber Sales is responsible for the East Canoe Forest Service Road because most of their operating area within the Robson Valley Timber Supply Area is down the east side of Kinbasket Reservoir.

BC Timber Sales is a division of the BC Forest Service, created in 2003, with a mandate to provide cost and price benchmarks for timber harvested from crown land in BC. After the last allowable annual cut for the area was set in 2006, BC Timber Sales was allowed to harvest a maximum of 108,980 cubic meters out of 536,000 for the area.

The new allowable cut for the Robson Valley Timber Supply Area was just announced, and has been lowered to 400,000 cubic meters, including 45,000 from “less accessible areas.” Less accessible areas are defined by the ministry, and include Bulldog Creek and Hugh Allen, both within BC Timber Sales’ operating areas, as well as other areas like the Raush, Castle, Upper Morekill and Swift Current. The new apportionment decision for the Robson Valley area is not expected until the fall.