Replacement work begins this month for the vehicular bridge that spans Glade Creek (of Manns) near the much-photographed Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park.
The bridge provides vehicle and foot traffic access to the majority of facilities at the Fayette County destination, including rental cabins, Glade Creek Grist Mill, Boley Lake, the swimming pool and the entire Sugar Camp Run Picnic Area. Bridge replacement work by the West Virginia Division of Highways and Babcock personnel is expected to be completed by the end of March.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to have this work completed prior to summer vacation season as well as the anticipated increase in visitation to our park and area by attendees of the Boy Scout Jamboree in July,” said Babcock Superintendent Clinton Cochran.
“This is good timing because the park is closed during the winter months and the project will be complete by the time Babcock reopens cabins, the campground and other recreational facilities in mid-April for the 2013 season.”
According to Cochran, the bridge work includes not only the necessary engineering but several extra efforts and designs to make sure that the new bridge and its look stay as close to the original as is possible.
“Engineers have created a very attractive design and special construction methods are going to be used to make this bridge very appealing to the park user. The new bridge will complement Babcock and the park’s natural setting and blend in very well with the adjacent Glade Creek Grist Mill.”
Angler cooperation and understanding also are part of the cooperative relationship making the new bridge a reality. Manns Creek and Boley Lake are stocked with trout by the Division of Natural Resources. The bridge construction will delay trout stocking until April, according to Cochran.
“Having trout stocking trucks, multiple anglers and construction all in the same area is a recipe for injury,” he said. “Everyone’s understanding that we have got to get this project completed before we open for the season is really important.”
“Trout stocking will resume in April after the bridge construction is completed,” said Mike Shingleton, assistant chief for coldwater fish management with West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Trout stocking information is posted at www.wvdnr.gov and will include Babcock when stocking resumes. West Virginia fishing licenses and associated stamps may be purchased online at www.wvfish.com or at a local licensed retailer.
Babcock State Park is known for the iconic mill scene and CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps)-built vacation cabins. A webcam features the mill in real time and is viewable at www.babcocksp.com