Boy Scouts bridge Pine Valley Reservoir gap

L-R: Enrique McArthur and Bracken Thiriot, Boy Scouts; Washington County Public Works Department (all in orange coats); Washington County Engineer Todd Edwards (in green coat). Pine Valley Reservoir, Utah, circa 2013-2014 | Photo courtesy of Dixie National Forest Public Affairs, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – An Eagle Scout project that was started over two years ago is nearing completion on Friday at 9 a.m. at the Pine Valley Reservoir. A 55-foot walking bridge, designed by Ron Larsen of Southwest Consulting Services, will be swung over by crane and placed on concrete abutments from the Gardner Campground in the Pine Valley Ranger District Recreation Area of the Dixie National Forest.

L-R: James Eardley, Boy Scout; Washington County Commissioner Jim Eardley; Bracken Thiriot, Boy Scout;  Washington County Commissioner Denny Drake; Enrique McArthur, Boy Scout; Washington County Commissioner Alan Gardner; Bevan Killpack, retired district ranger for the Dixie National Forest; Ron Larsen, civil engineer, Southwest Consulting Services, Southern Utah, circa 2013-2014 | Photo courtesy of Dixie National Forest Public Affairs, St. George News
L-R: James Eardley, Boy Scout; Washington County Commissioner Jim Eardley; Bracken Thiriot, Boy Scout;
Washington County Commissioner Denny Drake; Enrique McArthur, Boy Scout; Washington County Commissioner Alan Gardner; Bevan Killpack, retired district ranger for the Dixie National Forest; Ron Larsen, civil engineer, Southwest Consulting Services, Southern Utah, circa 2013-2014 | Photo courtesy of Dixie National Forest Public Affairs, St. George News | Click on photo to enlarge

Bracken Thiriot, Enrique McArthur and James Eardley – local boy scouts – took on the tremendous task when they requested to build a bridge over the Pine Valley Reservoir Spillway. Initial funding for the bridge was procured by the scouts under the Secure Rural Schools program of the U.S. Forest Service. Despite several setbacks – the sequestration, government shutdown, engineering requirements and unusually severe winter weather on the Pine Valley mountain – with the support of several city, state and county officials and Forest Service employees the bridge is built and currently sitting to the side of the spillway ready to be placed.

Washington County Commissioner Jim Eardley, who wrote a letter in support of the project with the other county commissioners, said:

It has been a privilege and honor to work with these scouts. They didn’t take “no” for an answer no matter how many times they were told that this project was impossible to complete for one reason or another. They looked for solutions and worked hard to make it all happen. It has been one of the most exciting projects to be a part of and see through to completion even when there seemed to be no feasible way to get this project done.

Bevan Killpack, former Pine Valley District Ranger said, “There has been a great need for this bridge. Visitors to the Recreation Area have been using the rocks at the spillway as a crossing. Especially now that we have the new campground and facilities which sit on the south side of the reservoir. This creates a great access point helping to complete the recreation area.”

Event details and contact information

  • What: Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
  • When: Saturday, May 10, at 11:30 a.m.
  • Location: Eagle Bridge – as it will be called for the majestic birds that are seen to visit the Dixie National Forest on occasion
  • Contact: Joe Harris | Telephone: 435-652-3132

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1 Comment

  • Mean momma April 17, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Great job guys! This will make it so much easier to get around the reservoir! Thank you!!!

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