Eganville – Residents and visitors to Bonnechere Valley Township will have a beautiful new fishing dock available for their angling pursuits on the Bonnechere River thanks to another initiative by the Eganville and Area Community Development Group (EACDG).

On Monday, members of the fishing dock committee, assisted by several volunteers, moved the new dock and access ramp from its place of manufacture at a warehouse on Bridge Street to the south side of the river just west of Home Hardware.

Brian Weckwerth, who co-chaired the committee with Dave Kruger, said it was memorable day for the EACDG to finally have the dock “in place and almost ready for use by the public.”

He explained the lease agreements with the property owners has yet to be finalized by Bonnechere Valley council and there is some landscaping to be done at the site to the approach of the dock to make it more wheelchair accessible.

“What a great addition to our town,” he said.

He noted the fishing dock was a supplementary project of the initial proposed boardwalk project, and when it was cancelled, some of the people who had made donations to that campaign, chose to re-direct their contributions to the fishing dock project.

“Plus the Rotary Club of Eganville came through with $5,000 and last week, the Eganville Clothing Bank gave us $1,000, which is all great,” he said. “So far, we have spent close to $14,000 on the dock on materials, hardware and engineering fees.

“The next step is the landscaping,” he added.

Mr. Weckwerth said a fence also had to be erected to restrict people from wandering onto the adjoining private property.

He said the dock meets the required building standards and was designed by Mr. Kruger and his partner, Christine Leclaire-Day, who did the initial drawings.

The dock is 10’ by 20’ and the ramp is 10’ long by 5’ wide. The railing is 30” high and at the front, for the smaller kids and people in wheelchairs, it’s 26.

The dock is constructed entirely of pressure-treated lumber and the corner braces, and mounting components are all heavy-duty cast metal. There are 12 floats under the dock assembly and one at the end of the access ramp.

“Everything was purchased locally at BMR and Country Depot,” he noted.

Construction began in late June and the team included Mr. Weckwerth, Chuck Afelskie, Willis Bowman and Jack Conquerville.

“Total man hours including the first couple of days planning, we’re likely pushing 200 man-hours,” he said. “That’s just for the construction and not the loading and unloading.”

He commended the employee from R&R Auto in Killaloe for the expert job he did in transferring both the dock and ramp from the warehouse to the river.

“It was unbelievable. He dropped it right in the water for us. No issues. It floated like a pontoon boat.”

The dock will be removed from the river in the fall and stored on site. He estimated the dock would go in around the May long weekend and come out about Thanksgiving.

 Mr. Weckwerth expects the dock will be open for use sometime next week, however, it will not be wheelchair accessible at that point.

Mr. Weckwerth said the capacity of the dock is in the neighbourhood of 3,000 pounds.

He said he has seen someone fishing along the banks of the river on an almost daily basis and now they will soon be able to access the new dock. He said one wheelchair accessible parking spot will be created near the dock and other vehicles will park along the roadway, etc.

With the dock almost ready for use, Mr. Weckwerth said the EACDG will turn its focus to improving the signage around the village to let visitors know where things like the splash pad, the fishing dock, the geo-heritage trail, and the parks are in the community.