Clear Creek Trail may get new footbridge

Volunteers with the Clear Creek Task Force have plans to place a footbridge at the northern portion of the trail along Dyes Inlet near Hop Jack’s and the Silverdale Beach Hotel. - Photo by Leslie Kelly
Volunteers with the Clear Creek Task Force have plans to place a footbridge at the northern portion of the trail along Dyes Inlet near Hop Jack’s and the Silverdale Beach Hotel.
— image credit: Photo by Leslie Kelly

Tex Lewis has another idea. And when Tex Lewis has an idea, action follows.

Lewis, who has been part of the Clear Creek Task Force for years, is hoping to add another footbridge at the north end of Dyes Inlet, just behind the Hop Jack’s restaurant and the Silverdale Beach Hotel.

“It’s an area where, when you’re walking the trail, you can’t get across the water without having to walk up to the road,” Lewis said. “For some of us, that disturbs the idea of taking the trail and being close to nature.”

So he and others who have worked on trails in the area decided to do something about it. They found a 60-foot length of boardwalk that is no longer in use at the Kingston Marina and have plans to move it to the north end of Dyes Inlet.

They will take their case to the Central Kitsap Community Council when the council meets April 17. That meeting is at the Water & Fire District Community Room, 5300 NW Newberry Hill Rd, Silverdale, at 7 p.m.

Lewis, a retired engineer, has already met with Washington State Fish and Wildlife officials and they are evaluating his plans for the north-end footbridge.

“Right off, they had some concerns about the quality of the wood we had,” he said. “They are checking to make sure there are no creosotes in the wood. We don’t want to do anything that’s not environmentally sound. Even if this boardwalk doesn’t work out, we’re gonna get some kind of footbridge at that location.”

Lewis isn’t new to boardwalks. In 2009, he helped secure a boardwalk on the Clear Creek Trail near the All Star Lanes. That boardwalk was nearly 600 feet with a 40-foot wooden bridge and was placed through the efforts of the task force, and donated labor. The Olympic College’s Engineers Without Boarders designed and helped secure permits for that project.

With the new foot- bridge, Lewis has again asked engineering students from Olympic College to help out.

“They’re on board,” he said. “And we’re pretty sure we can get donated labor to place the bridge.”

Concrete foundations will have to be placed, he said. And then the foot-bridge will have to be placed on top of the foundation. The project could take several weeks, but Lewis hopes to have it in place for use this summer.

Lewis’ work on the Clear Creek Trail started in 1993 when he and late businessman Paul Brittain sought to preserve the creek corridor in the midst of Silverdale’s growing commercial development. Together they established the Clear Creek Task Force that is made up of service clubs and volunteers.

Since then, portions of the trail have been added almost every year. With the previous boardwalk, a grant was secured to cover the costs of materials and supplies.

Lewis said if it is determined that the old boardwalk from the Kingston Marina can’t be used, there may be need for some fundraising to cover the costs of new lumber for the footbridge.

“We’ll just have to wait and see,” he said. “I think we’ll know in just a matter of days if we’re in that situation.”


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