A view from the Victoria St. Bridge walkway looking down at the log boom hung up on the bridge’s footing.

Log boom hung up on Trail bridge

“We’ve determined that it is a load of pulp logs so they originally belonged to Celgar.” - Geoff Bekker, Interfor

Government officials and representatives from Interfor and Celgar are trying to figure out how they will safely remove a log boom hung up on a pier supporting the Victoria St. Bridge in Trail.

The boom, logs held together in a bundle by a cable, became lodged on the pier sometime between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

Geoff Bekker, woodland manager at the Interfor sawmill in Castlegar, says the logs look like pulp logs.

“We’ve determined that it is a load of pulp logs so they originally belonged to Celgar,” he said, when contacted by the Trail Times. “We’re not sure how they got there, but we’ll work that through.”

Larry Abenante, City of Trail’s public works manager, says even though the bridge is in Trail, it isn’t up to the city to take care of the log boom on the pillar.

“As the bridge belongs to the Ministry of Transport, they would be the people[…] to talk to,” he said in an email statement.

“They are aware of this, [and I’m] not sure what they will be doing.”

Questions to local representatives of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure were passed on to its media department.

“(The department) will monitor and insure that there is no damage to the structure and work with the various agencies to safely remove debris build up,” said an email reply from the ministry.

As far as a Celgar spokesperson knew at the time of interview, no logs were lost from its facility.

No matter who they belonged to upriver, Bekker says the logs need to be removed safely.

“We have had similar situations before but the first thing is to do it safely,” he said.

“[We have to] get it off there in conjunction with […] Emcon and the Ministry of Transport and make sure they are all happy with the procedure.”

One of the options Bekker and his team have is to lower a worker down to the log boom and cut the cable.

“That would allow the logs to just run free,” he said, explaining that it may be the only plan of attack.  “I’m not sure if there are any other options at this point.”

As for potential damage to the Victoria St. Bridge, the ministry said it will inspect it as required once the debris has been released.

The ministry couldn’t comment on any potential fines or reviews in light of the escaped log booms, adding it wasn’t aware of policies and procedures in the logging industry.

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