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Use caution if boating near Fish Hook River bridge

Boaters should be cautious when traveling near the new bridge over Fish Hook River in Park Rapids.

City councilman Dave Konshok found out the hard way that some rocks are under the bridge, making it shallow enough to hit with a propeller.

“If we could get somebody to look under the bridge, underneath the water there was some rock that they could not reach,” he said. “I assume it was farther out than the excavator. Ideally, it would be nice to get that out of there.”

Konshok thought that could be a considerable expense, though.

“It at least needs to be marked in case someone else besides my father finds it with their boat propeller less than two hours after I put my boat in the water this year,” he said. “Otherwise, it looks great. I think it’s gonna work,” Konshok added.

Chris Fieldsend, city facilities manager, said the DNR is nearly completed with the bridge and he would look into doing something with the rocks.

“They did have a little problem with somebody walking on it. They had 28 footsteps on one side of the concrete,” Fieldsend said. “They are about done. They are just doing some cleanup and they’ll have some seeding but their portion is almost done for Red Bridge Park.”

Park Rapids citizen Dick Rutherford said he thought the bridge looked nice but he was a bit concerned about safety.

“A lot of people are commenting that it’s nice” but the approaches seemed steep on the east side at Heartland Park, he said. “Some little kid could ride up there with a bicycle and end up on the bottom. I think they need to put some kind of fencing up there. It’s just my opinion.”

The next step in the project is the city’s portion. The work includes paving the trail from the bridge through the park and the parking lot.

The city will incorporate other amenities to Red Bridge Park including benches, light poles and picnic tables. The plan is to keep the old Red Bridge in the park.

The Red Bridge replacement project is part of a larger Heartland Trail master plan. It reroutes the current trail, which goes across the trestle bridge to Highway 34. The trestle bridge is in poor condition and is posted now for a maximum of 1,500 pounds. The DNR will remove the trestle bridge as part of the project. It will not be replaced.

The trestle bridge will be removed after the Red Bridge replacement project is completed, DNR officials said previously.

The project will align with the Heartland Trail master plan, which shows the trail heading west through Red Bridge Park and along Beach Road with the final destination being Moorhead.

The goal is to have work completed in the park by the 4th of July.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561