ORR – Section by section, the old Orr Bog Walk is disappearing, and in the same way a new one to replace it may be ready for summer tourists by mid-June.Workers from Pember Companies, Inc. of …
ORR – Section by section, the old Orr Bog Walk is disappearing, and in the same way a new one to replace it may be ready for summer tourists by mid-June.
Workers from Pember Companies, Inc. of Menomonie, Wis., have already made significant progress in dismantling the dilapidated walk, with sections piled high in the Tourist Information Center parking lot last Friday.
“(We’ve removed) from the floating section all the way back to the ‘Y’ where the six-foot wide starts at the beginning, and they’re building frames heading back out on one stretch already,” said Dave Webb, Pember’s project manager. “So, things are going pretty good.”
Progress is moving along in part because the crew has doubled in size.
“We started with three and actually it was going really good,” Webb said. ‘But we just added another group of three and suddenly things are going along quite nicely.”
A challenge before work began was to make tweaks to the original bid specifications to bring the project in line with the city’s $392,350 budget. A prime candidate for savings was modifying the number and/or size of the floats underneath the planned 55 open-water sections along the river, and Webb hit on a good solution.
“Originally, there were more floats per section,” he said. “I found some larger floats that you could actually set each end on. So now we’re down to three floats per section, and it should have more than enough capacity. And with the section ends sitting on floats it will help hold it together better in the long run. We saved them a decent amount of money just by switching the kind and number and switching to a little larger float.”
While replacing the land-based sections is relatively straightforward, approaching the water-based sections is a plan yet to be determined.
“We’re not sure how much the water fluctuates out there,” Webb said. “We’re going to build our way back out there, and by the time we get back out there maybe the water level will be a little lower. Maybe not.”
Whatever the case, Webb and his crew are prepared.
“We brought our work platform raft with us this week, so the guys can push that out from the landing, we can grab a boat and push that down the river and get access to it from that way,” Webb said. “We might end up building some sections and floating them in from the boat landing. We’ll see how it goes.”
The crew hasn’t encountered any unforeseen obstacles, Webb said, and the pace of work is such that he is confident about meeting the desired construction deadlines.
“It should be open hopefully mid-June, that’s what I’m shooting for,” Webb said. “I’m anticipating meeting their June 15 deadline with this portion here, and then we’ll have somebody come back in late summer and they’ll do the water sealer on it, and if there are any kind of adjustments needed, we’ll take care of those then.”