Close Win­ter­ton board­walk, says writer

The Compass - - OPINION -

The Town of Win­ter­ton should shut down what once was their mag­nif­i­cent board­walk cir­cling the lake at Out­side Pond Park un­til the ma­jor re­pairs that have started are com­plete.

Cur­rently there are two new warn­ing signs nailed to trees. One at each en­trance to the wooden walk­way ad­vises vis­i­tors to, “Use at own risk”.

That is sim­ply ridicu­lous. No­body should be shocked into the re­al­ity that what lies ahead is ap­prox­i­mately one mile of dan­ger in a pub­lic park.

My wife and I walked the board­walk last Sun­day ( July 20) and never en­joyed a minute for fear we were go­ing to fall through the rot­ten spongy boards that nearly gave way with ev­ery step we took.

Adding in­sult to in­jury, there are added cau­tion mark­ings placed in par­tic­u­larly danger­ous ar­eas cir­cled with red spray paint. These warn­ings obvi- ously re­mind walk­ers to be par­tic­u­larly care­ful of holes in the boards, rot­ting edges, split­ting boards and cracks in the un­der car­riage.

A small num­ber of the rot­ten boards have al­ready been re­placed but that is just use­less patch­work in my view.

As the board­walk me­an­ders through the woods, some of the ar­eas are quite high, re­quir­ing the erec­tion of guardrails. Many of them are miss­ing and those that are left are about to give way.

I just don’t un­der­stand why officials with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of op­er­at­ing the camp­ground and the mag­nif­i­cent RV Park ad­ja­cent to the board­walk haven’t taken ac­tion to shut it down.

We have been vis­it­ing the Out­side Pond Park for years and en­joyed many walks around the lake. Usu­ally we walk the en­tire dis­tance and then turn around and walk back. Two miles of great ex­er­cise in a pris­tine set­ting, sec­ond to none any­where in the province.

Last Sun­day we walked one way and never walked back. We would be crazy to take that risk again.

As I men­tioned, re­pairs are well un­der­way on the RV Park side of the walk­way and this work is very im­pres­sive, although I think pres­sure treated lum­ber should have been used.

It will be a long, hard and costly job to bring the Win­ter­ton board­walk back to what it used to be. Hope­fully the funds will be avail­able to com­plete it.

Un­til then I think the town of Win­ter­ton, for their sake and for the safety of the gen­eral pub­lic at large, should shut it down com­pletely un­til it is made safe for vis­i­tors to walk again.

Re­gret­fully we won’t be back un­til that time. In the months ahead though, we will surely miss it.

Bill West­cott writes from Clarke’s Beach

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