The new Nakusp Hot Springs footbridge was opened with fanfare on Aug. 17. Two stages had live music, and there was food, face painting, beer and wine, and even a spot for massage.
Although there were more people on the grounds than usual, the hot springs weren’t packed, either with soakers or wanderers. And most of the visitors weren’t locals, according to one volunteer.
Connie and Cliff Walter from Montana had come to the Nakusp Hot Springs on holiday as a gift from their son. Connie decided to take advantage of the opportunity to get a foot treatment from local body workers Thor and Marlana who had a tent on the hot springs grounds.
“It’s great, actually,” said Connie, who was enjoying the celebrations.
The fêted bridge is the latest effort by the Village to make the municipally-owned hot springs a viable venture, Nakusp mayor Karen Hamling told the small crowd gathered for speeches.
“Many people put a lot of time and effort into making this project a reality,” she said. The project cost $425,000 and funding came in large part thanks to the Nakusp and Area Community Trails Society’s trails project which helped secure a Community Recreation grant for $340,000. Both the Columbia Basin Trust and the Village of Nakusp contributed $42,500 toward the bridge.
Salmon Arm’s Omega Engineering designed the project and kept it within budget, and the Village’s project manager Simon Bamber worked closely with the firm as well as Stinger Welding who provided the steel.
Construction of the bridge was done by Landmark Mechanical and Rob Udy, and Nakusp’s own Dave Madden Timberworks supplied the timber and timber work that gives the bridge its unique beauty.
Laurie Page, representing the CBT, remarked that the bridge was the kind of collaborative project that epitomized what the Trust stands for.
At the end of the quick speeches, Barb Chwachka, Trish Hueskin and Barb Towle from Nakusp ACTS lead the way to the new bridge for the official ribbon cutting. Drummers by the bridge entrance led walkers in the right direction, and at last the new bridge was officially opened.