As many of you may already know the Deer Creek Crossing at the Custaloga Town Scout Reservation washed out over the holidays and the staff and volunteers have been trying to get things back open at camp for over a month. There were a lot of permits and regulations to go through and we had camp open for about a week. BUT........
Here is an update as of February 14, 2017. About two weeks ago we hired a company to put the crossing back in so that we could have access to the main portion of camp again. They did a great job but it took 14 loads of rock and rip rap to get the south end of the bridge and road back in place and usable again. Unfortunately a week after the repair we received heavy rains again and the north side (opposite end that was fixed) of the crossing washed out. (The repaired south end held very well) The steel tubes are not working anymore as they have rusted and bowed under the bridge weight and the numerous amounts of debris that has crashed into them has crushed the ends of many of them. We have permission to repair the damage and put the crossing back to the way it was but we spent $10,000 to repair the crossing the first time in hopes that it would help us until we received Department of Natural Resources Permits to put a bridge in place.
We are afraid to fill in the hole that is currently in place as spring rain and melting may cause us to lose the bridge again and we cannot afford to spend another $10,000 on a crossing that we will eventually have to take out once a bridge is in place. The crossing if repaired to the way it was will act like a dam as only 4 of 9 tubes are passing water and those tubes cannot keep up with Deer Creek.
We have contacted a few bridge building companies and once we get the needed permits it will hopefully only take 6 - 8 weeks to get a bridge in place. We are the Boy Scouts and we are not going to do something that would be detrimental to the creek and the habitat. So we wait. In the meantime we need financial support. We have applied to foundations and made requests for funding to many groups. The expected cost is up to $160,000 with everything that needs to be done. We are trying to save money everywhere we can but this needs to be fixed correctly to avoid future problems. For those interested in the details... The bridge must be at least 80 feet long by 14 feet wide and able to carry a load of at least 40 tons due to trucks that pass back and forth. Many thanks to those that have donated which includes individuals, businesses, and even a recent donation from an Eagle Ceremony where they took up a collection for the bridge.
We have had fundraising suggestions sent to us but at this time we are looking for money outside our everyday donors as our annual Friends of Scouting Program is underway and we are trying to raise the money needed for everyday operating costs. The bridge is an above and beyond cost that we have to find money for as we do not want to take FOS dollars away from the operations budget. If we do that, we will have a nice bridge but will not be able to afford the daily costs of the Scouting program.
If you would like to make a donation we will gladly take donations directly to the French Creek Council, 1815 Robison Road West, Erie, PA 16509 or a donation can be made to our gofundme site by clicking here but they do charge fees.
We just want to keep everyone informed of the progress and the best way to keep up to date is check the French Creek Council Facebook page. Please be patient. Pictures of the flood damage can be seen on the French Creek Council Facebook page.
WE WILL HAVE SUMMER CAMP SO PLEASE DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THAT.