Roadwork Causes Campground Closing
Campers used to spending summer stretches at Trowbridge Falls Campground near Thunder Bay, Ontario, will be looking for someplace else to go in 2011.
City officials said Wednesday (May 4) the popular campground, located off Copenhagen Road, will be closed for the upcoming season because of construction on a cloverleaf interchange on the nearby Thunder Bay Expressway, the Thunder Bay News Watch reported.
Paul Fayrick, the parks division manager, said it’s unfortunate, but safety and efficiency have to come first.
“We decided because of the impacts of the highway construction that it would be best if we didn’t open the campground this year,” Fayrick said.
“The primary reason is the project will close the intersection at Hodder Avenue and the highway for about six to eight weeks in the middle of July and August. “
It would mean a 14-mile detour in each direction to reach the park, time city parks and recreation staff, who operate out of Centennial Park, don’t have to service the campground and its facilities. It would also cause delays for emergency personnel, should they be needed, a concern with so many swimming holes in the area.
“It’s an hour of travel to get up there and clean the washrooms and do those sorts of things. So it didn’t seem like it would be a good idea.”
It will also save the city $30,000 in costs to maintain a potable water supply through the construction site to the campground, though not all the costs will be realized as security will be hired to ensure the public is adhering to the closure.
Last year the park brought in $47,000 in revenue, Fayrick said.
Current River Couselor Andrew Foulds said he’s disappointed at the recommendation, but understands why it has to happen.
“This is one of the premier recreational districts in this municipality, and I’d argue in this country,” said Foulds. “So I’m really disappointed that there will be part of it this year that people will not be able to enjoy.”
Foulds said the silver lining may be found at other city-owned facilities, like Chippewa Park.
“I certainly encourage all of them to take advantage of those other opportunities,” he said. “The city of Thunder Bay has put a lot of money into Chippewa Park over the last number of years. And it is a phenomenal park.
“People who tend to camp at Trowbridge, a lot of them are local people. So hopefully they take advantage of another great recreational facility.”