The last visible remains of the old Kawkawa bridge are being removed.
On Friday, a construction crew began the difficult process of tearing down the final piles in the river bed that will close the last chapter on the old bridge.
Made famous 30 years ago because of its high profile scene in the film First Blood, starring Sylvester Stallone, the bridge was eventually replaced last year and the old structure torn down.
Howard Ratzlaff of HCR Environmental Consulting was on scene to ensure the final pieces were taken down correctly, without impacting the river.
Large concrete blocks have been placed in the river to guide the water away from what remains of the structure.
“We’re just trying to deflect the water, the current, around it so we can create a work site around the piles,” explained Ratzlaff.
The piles are made of steel filled with concrete and have to be removed from the riverbed up. The remainder of the piles will remain underground.
“In order to remove them they have to cut the steel. In order to cut the steel they have to reduce the water around it.”
The project is expected to take several days to complete.
A concrete block located between the piles also has to be destroyed and removed.
Ratzlaff said the project has to be completed, to meet a previous agreement.
“The removal of the bridge in its entirety was part of the approval from Fisheries and Oceans in order to grant the approval to build the new bridge. So this is the last chunk of work.”
The old structure also needs to be removed for the sake of natural river flow.
“One of the aspects is it is a deterrent to the stream bed to be able to move back and forth naturally. So it is a disturbance to flow.”
He said the structure does prevent the river from creating natural eddies and pools.
Ratzlaff said he is on hand to ensure no environmental concerns arise during the project.