Closure coming at Hardy Falls Regional Park

The Regional District of Central Okanagan is giving plenty of advance notice regarding the impending closure of a large section of Hardy Falls Regional Park.

Most of the six-hectare regional park, located on Hardy Road just off Highway 97 near the south end of Peachland, will be closed from June 18 to July 31.

The western portion of the park from the main trail entrance will reopen for public access Aug. 1.

"We have to completely close this part of the park during this time so that we can remove and replace seven of the eight pedestrian bridges that cross Peachland-Deep Creek," said communications officer Bruce Smith.

"These are the remaining original bridges that were all built in 1996. We rebuilt the first bridge over the creek in 2009 after the original structure was demolished by a fallen creekside cottonwood tree.

"The condition of the remaining seven bridges is degrading and they must be replaced to ensure public safety, structural integrity and access by our parks services staff."

In order to allow for the safe removal and disposal of each bridge and the installation of the new bridge structures, workers and equipment require unfettered access along the narrow main trail.

A portion of the Hardy Road parking lot will also be sectioned off for use as an equipment and materials staging area.

As with any project in and around fish-bearing streams, best management practices will be followed and all work will be monitored.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has permitted this work during the fish window through the end of July.

Signs will be posted advising of the park trail closure. Park users are reminded that if found within a closed regional park, they could face a $500 fine.

"While the main trail of Hardy Falls Regional Park is closed, the park picnic area and washrooms—east of the main trail entrance at Hardy Road—will still be open for use while the bridges are being replaced," said Smith.

The regional board awarded the bridge removal, disposal and replacement contract to Boxwood Forest Products and Services Limited for just over $137,000.

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