By Sue Tiffin
A temporary closure of the Minden boardwalk was announced by the township of Minden Hills last Friday.
The wooden boardwalk, noted on the township’s website to be approximately 0.4 kilometres in length from its entrance at the Cultural Centre on Bobcaygeon Road through natural grass marsh to Minden’s ball diamonds or Invergordon Avenue, is closed for safety evaluation and repair.
“The township of Minden Hills wishes to advise pedestrians and cyclists of the temporary closure to the Minden boardwalk due to safety concerns,” reads a May 6 press release from Craig Belfry, director of community services, issued at end-of-day last Friday.
Temporary barricades have been placed at the entrances to the boardwalk.
Belfry told the Times that after inspection, staff and engineers determined to close the boardwalk to further evaluate the safety of the structure and make necessary repairs. The damage, he said, is due to weather, age and other factors.
“Most new damage occurred over the winter, most likely related to weather and age,” Belfry said. “In addition, previous floods have caused damage that needs to be rectified.”
Belfry said there have been spot repairs to the boardwalk in recent years. The boardwalk was also closed at times last summer, and in previous years.
“In 2020 through 2021, the municipality has invested approximately $37,000 in repairs to the structure by replacing boards,” he told the Times.
Belfry said the township “looks forward to reopening this great municipal attraction as soon as it is safe to do so.”
“There is $50,000 in the 2022 Capital Budget for the boardwalk,” he said. “This is a grant from the Federal ICIP program. As part of the project, this initial evaluation by engineers took place which will aid in developing timelines, and project parameters.”
In the past, the municipality’s barricades have been vandalized and removed from the boardwalk, later found in the marsh area.
“This has happened numerous times, and currently, staff are retrieving them again from the marsh,” said Belfry. “These barricades are put in place to ensure the safety of the public, and prevent injury. We ask that the public respect this closure and stay off the boardwalk at this time.”
Belfry said he has not received any direct complaints from residents on the closure, nor on the condition of the boardwalk this season.
According to the township, information and updates on the closure and subsequent opening will be communicated through media releases, the Minden Hills website or through social media channels. For questions regarding the closure, contact community centre staff at 705-286-1260 x. 552 or for more information visit www.mindenhills.ca.