RDEK Contributes Funding to Help Install Temporary Bridge and Restore Public Access to Recreational Area Following November Floods

The RDEK Board of Directors has approved $100,000 in funding through the Electoral Area A portion of the Elk Valley Mine Tax Sharing Funds to support the installation of a temporary bridge over Morrissey Creek and restore access to the Morrissey and Coal Creek Areas. 

Canfor is not able to complete permanent repairs to the bridge in time for the winter season. “The Fernie Snowmobile Association (FSA) has been working tirelessly to find a way to restore public access to this critical winter area for all recreationalists and back country users and should be applauded for their efforts,” says Electoral Area A Director Mike Sosnowski. “The funding we have approved will help to provide safe access for all users until a more permanent fix can be made and ensure this important economic generator can operate this winter.” 

Access to the Morrissey and Coal Creek drainages suffered significant damage during the recent flooding in November and are currently inaccessible. The Association has been working with multiple stakeholders and potential funding partners on a solution for this winter and presented the RDEK Board with an overview of the economic impact snowmobiling has in the Fernie area each winter. 

“Their statistics show that snowmobiling alone contributes nearly $12 million in economic revenue to the Fernie area each winter, and about 15,000 day-use visits,” explains Sosnowski. “We need a safe place for the public and recreationalists to go, and securing access to the Morrissey area will achieve that.” 

Work on installing the temporary bridge is expected to begin immediately and the structure will be removed prior to the spring run-off.