Scouts replace bridge

Volunteers work to replace a bridge in Huntertown’s Bicentennial Woods as part of an Eagle Scout project headed by Graham Seiler of Boy Scout Troop 169, Auburn. The bridge was finished in June for ACRES Land Trust, after Seiler worked on it for his Eagle Scout project over the past year.

HUNTERTOWN — Bicentennial Woods of Huntertown recently gained an upgraded bridge thanks to the generosity of many.

Graham Seiler of Boy Scout Troop 169, Auburn, finished the bridge in June for ACRES Land Trust, after having worked on it for his Eagle Scout project over the past year.

“Tucked back in the depths of a well-used yet narrow trail, the new bridge will solve the problems that the previous bridge had left. Being made of concrete and steel, this sturdy construction won’t get slippery when wet, rot, or sink into the banks on either side, unlike the old bridge made of lumber, and should last for decades,” Seiler said.

Bicentennial Woods is a privately owned property that is kept untouched from lumber-cutting or fieldwork. It is open to the general public to walk the paths it offers.

“Many residents of the area say how often they use the trails and the necessity for a bridge with better traction. Though its parking lot is small, it is rarely empty,” Seiler said.

“I didn’t initially plan for my project to be quite as big as it turned out, but as complications arose, I had to adapt my project to fit. I learned a lot. I thought at first that I’d just take out the old bridge and put in a new one, but there were many things I hadn’t considered. It was challenging to get the materials in to the site, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Evan Hill, my contact for ACRES.”

Nearly 30 volunteers came out to help over a month’s time to put the bridge together in multiple stages, working over 300 service hours for the project.

“I thank them and the many companies that donated time, materials and services to bring this project together, including Vulcraft of Nucor, Irving Materials Inc., Seiler Excavating Co., and Hagerman Construction Co. I couldn’t have done this myself. It was the combined effort and generosity of the community that allowed this project to be made for the community,” Seiler said.

Seiler will apply for the rank of Eagle Scout and plans to attend college following his senior year at Eastside High School.

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