LETTER: Shut down Winterton boardwalk, says writer

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The town of Winterton should shut down what once was their magnificent boardwalk circling the lake at Outside Pond Park until the major repairs that have started are complete.

Bill Wescott is pictured here, with the Town of Carbonear in the background.

Currently there are two new warning signs nailed to trees. One at each entrance to the wooden walkway advises visitors to, "Use at own risk".

That is simply ridiculous.

Nobody should be shocked into the reality that what lies ahead is approximately one mile of danger in a public park.

My wife and I walked the boardwalk last Sunday and never enjoyed a minute for fear we were going to fall through the rotten spongy boards that nearly gave way with every step we took.

Adding insult to injury, there are added caution markings placed in particularly dangerous areas circled with red spray paint. These warnings obviously remind walkers to be particularly careful of holes in the boards, rotting edges, splitting boards and cracks in the under carriage.

A small number of the rotten boards have already been replaced but that is just useless patchwork in my view.

As the boardwalk meanders through the woods, some of the areas are quite high, requiring the erection of guardrails. Many of them are missing and those that are left are about to give way.

I just don't understand why officials with the responsibility of operating the campground and the magnificent RV Park adjacent to the boardwalk haven't taken action to shut it down.

We have been visiting the Outside Pond Park for years and enjoyed many walks around the lake. Usually we walk the entire distance and then turn around and walk back. Two miles of great exercise in a pristine setting, second to none anywhere in the province.

Last Sunday we walked one way and never walked back. We would be crazy to take that risk again.

As I mentioned, repairs are well underway on the RV Park side of the walkway and this work is very impressive, although I think pressure treated lumber should have been used.

It will be a long, hard and costly job to bring the Winterton boardwalk back to what it used to be. Hopefully the funds will be available to complete it. 

Until then I think the town of Winterton, for their sake and for the safety of the general public at large, should shut it down completely until it is made safe for visitors to walk again.

Regretfully we won't be back until that time. In the months ahead though, we will surely miss it.

— Bill Westcott writes from Clarke's Beach

Geographic location: WInterton, Outside Pond Park

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Recent comments

  • Bill Westcott
    July 29, 2014 - 04:42

    Joe JESUS was a complainer too. He complained about man's inhumanity to man.

  • Joe mcdonald
    July 24, 2014 - 19:13

    This man must actually believe he is a reporter and writer, I believe he is a complainer

  • Bill Westcott
    July 24, 2014 - 12:15

    Courtney You obviously did not read my entire letter. If you did you would have noticed the praise I gave to those involved in repairing the boardwalk. Management should not be annoyed with constructive criticism...that's democracy Courtney.

    • Terry
      July 24, 2014 - 20:44

      Unless you are 600 lbs and walk on the end of the non pressure boards on the board-walk-then maybe if you are not drunk-high or just stupid, the walk is fine. I walk with my dog every day and to date the only issue I see is people like you who don't respect the fact that a walk even exist and blame the town folks for a reason to complain. If you want to help, donate some pressure treated boards or fine somewhere else to walk-PLEASE!

  • Anonymous
    July 24, 2014 - 09:10

    Im happy he did write this article. If the boardwalk is unsafe it definately should be closed until it is a safe condition. Courtney, would you rather wait until somebody falls through a board and breaks a limb before its brought to the publics attention?!?!

    • Courtney
      July 30, 2014 - 14:55

      Obviously we do not want anyone to fall through the boards and break a limb. I'm just stating that I don't think there was need to advertise this through the compass. I feel he should have picked a better proactive approach. Maybe speak with management and then write an article in the paper saying what the bigger and better plans are for the park. There are bigger issues in our area which need to be addressed than the boardwalk in Winterton.

  • Courtney
    July 23, 2014 - 15:10

    Also, Mr. Westcott.. Maybe you should have went to Management prior to writing this in the paper and making it seem as though OPP is neglecting the park. It is kind of a stab in the back for all the hard work that these people put into the park.

  • Courtney
    July 23, 2014 - 15:05

    Dear Mr. Westcott, The boardwalk is in rough shape. The signs are there to warn people of the shape that it is in. But if you did in fact walk the whole boardwalk you would realize that over on the far end by "flat rock" the boards are replaced with new ones. They are in the process of replacing the boardwalk. It is in use for the people who are from the area and don't mind using the boardwalk in its condition. If you don't like the walk, simply do not use it.