We don't often get involved in projects quite so close to the road end but when the Temple Basin Ski Club Charitable Trust approached us back in 2021 to contribute to the restoration of the historic road bridge joining the two carparks the BCT board decided there were wider backcountry access issues worthy of support.
The bridge has been identified in the Arthur's Pass National Park Management Plan as one of the last surviving original road bridges over the Southern Alps, but time had taken its toll and eventually it had failed an engineering inspection to carry vehicle traffic.
Originally built sometime during the Cobb & Co era between 1866 and 1910, the bridge had a good amount of rotten timber that needed replacing and steel strengthening to be able to take vehicles up to 3,500kg.
NZTA had previously contributed to its maintenance but it no longer met funding criteria so the Temple Basin Ski Club set about fundraising the $75,000 needed for the work. The Backcountry Trust contributed $20,000 to the final total and the work was completed in April 2022.
DOC Rangiora Ops Manager Kingsley Timpson worked closely with all parties to help bring this project together and tick off another job in the Arthur's Pass National Park Management Plan. The final build and project management was organised by the volunteers in the Temple Basin Charitable Trust.
The Temple Basin Ski Club has for many years been managing the power, water and sewage removal from this public facilities in Temple Basin, as well as at their own lodge and facilities, and this work helps to cement the ongoing partnership with community organisations who help maintain this part of the park.
The Canterbury Mountaineering Club took on the responsibility for Lockwood Shelter sometime ago and are currently looking at options to deal with the back log of deferred maintenance on this facility.