ST. GEORGE — As a part of a greater plan to create a continuous trail system throughout Washington County, county officials approved funding toward the building of pedestrian bridges spanning the Virgin River in the LaVerkin-Hurricane area.
During a meeting Tuesday, the County Commission approved $46,150 to go toward the engineering and surveying associated with building the bridges at Confluence Park. The bridges will tie into trail systems on both sides of the Virgin River once built.
“We’re pretty excited about this, especially for anybody who lives in the communities of Hurricane, LaVerkin and Toquerville, on that part of the county,” Commissioner Victor Iverson said.
Rick Rosenberg, of Rosenberg and Associates, told the commission there are two possible locations for bridges across the river. One bridge would span 100 feet while another would span 50 feet. They would also be steel truss-style bridges similar to those that already exist on the trails in the area, he said.
The construction of the actual bridges is still a ways off, Iverson said, but gets the process moving.
In addition to the bridges, Iverson previously told St. George News the county also plans to improve the trails and trailheads at Confluence Park in the near-future.
A presentation concerning the bridge was also made to the Hurricane City Council at their Thursday night meeting. Officials there said the ultimate cost might be around $400,000 for the bridge. They also mentioned that part of the project could be the restoration of the old LaVerkin hydroelectric plant, closed since 1983, into a museum or other public space.
The Commission also approved the future purchase of a pre-fabricated steel building for the housing of the county’s search and rescue equipment kept at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Some of the equipment is kept outside in a fenced-off area by the Sheriff’s Office.
“Search and rescue has a lot of equipment that sits out in the sun,” Commissioner Gil Almquist said, “its aging and should get some shelter.”
A pending cost of a new building was not quoted during the commission meeting.
Appearing in person at the commission meeting Tuesday since leaving for Salt Lake City in early December and subsequently returning home to recover from cancer treatment and a bone marrow transplant, was Commissioner Dean Cox.
Though he returned from medical treatment in Northern Utah in mid-January, it was anticipated that he may only be able to participate in the commission meetings over the phone until March 1 or so. This was due to Cox needing to rebuild his general immunity which had been greatly diminished by his medical treatment.
Cox had previously told St. George News he was anxious to get back to work and that it would be hard to keep him away, which he repeated during Tuesday’s meeting.
“It’s good to be back,” he said. “It’s hard to keep me from here.”
Cox said his experience fighting the cancer was brutal, yet added he was buoyed by the great support the community gave him through over emails, Facebook posts and other means.
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