Work Started On Historical Kinsol Trestle

Tuesday was a big day for Kinsol Trestle enthusiasts as they announced rehabilitation of the colossal bridge has officially begun.

That doesn't mean, however, campaigners aren't accepting donations to the cause.

The public was invited to the north end of the structure to mark the start of the labour and to get ramped up on their fundraising efforts to raise the remaining cash needed to finish the more extensive rehab work.

According to Kinsol Trestle Campaign chair Jack Peake, they've not yet reached their fundraising goal.

We want to have this trestle refurbished completely and by that I mean there is some cosmetic work that is required to finish this completely, that if we don't raise the entire sum of money aimed for, some of those cosmetic things will get put off, Peake said. This structure will have weight-bearing components to it and non-weight bearing components that could be left in their state, the way they are, but if we can come up with the last $765,000 or less depending on things that happen today and beyond, out of the $7.4 million that's required to do this, you can see that $765,000 compared to $7.4 million isn't a whole lot of money in the scheme of things.

Dave Johel of Johel Brothers Contracting stepped up to the plate at Tuesday's gathering with a donation of $5,000.

Ruth Hartmann made quite the entrance to the conference, pedaling in on her bicycle, illustrating what future trestle/trail users might look like. She also piped in $500 on behalf of Frank Hartmann Electrical.

Macdonald & Lawrence Timber Framing of Cobble Hill has been hired as the timber specialist contractor to undertake the extensive rehabilitation and upgrade work.

There will be temporary viewing areas created for the public to watch the work progress from the north side of the Trestle with access from Riverside Road, a media release said.

The rehab work is on target to be complete by March 31, 2011, pending funds raised in the coming months.

A lot of documentation, planning and thought has gone into this design, that people don't necessarily see, Gord Macdonald of Macdonal & Lawrence said in the release. We want to ensure we're preserving as much of the old structure as we can. That is absolutely our agenda.

The work includes replacing unsound timbers, reinforcing six structural piers and building a new 614-foot walkway atop the structure for hikers, runners, cyclists and equestrians.

The last time I was out here I had my granddaughter with me who was at that time a year and a half, CVRD chair Gerry Giles said Tuesday. I said one day I hope she would be able to bring her granddaughter out to look at this magnificent structure that is so much of our Canadian heritage.

Donations to the Save the Historic Kinsol Trestle can be made online at www.kinsol.ca or by contacting Diane Myrden or Kim Martin at the campaign office at 250-709-1087.

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