The Regional District of East Kootenay has approved $100,000 for a temporary bridge restore access to the Morrissey and Coal Creek areas.
Electoral Area A Director Mike Sosnowski said 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 recreationists and backcountry users and should be applauded for their efforts,” said 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 area suffered significant damage during the recent flooding.
RDEK officials said the FSA has been working with multiple stakeholders and potential funding partners on a solution and presented an overview of the economic impact to the RDEK board.
“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,” added Sosnowski.
“We need a safe place for the public and recreationists to go, and securing access to the Morrissey area will achieve that.”
According to the RDEK, work on the temporary ridge will begin immediately and the structure will be removed before the spring run-off.