RIVER JOHN — A new floating dock system has River Johners brimming with pride and its potential to increase activity and draw visitors.
A five-person Riverfront Project Committee has been working on behalf of the River John Action Society to complete the project.
Bruce Frizzell, who is retired from a career in construction and project management, is heading up the construction phase. He is joined by Mike George, who also has a construction background, retired engineer Mike Topley and society members Dan Ferguson and Gary Johnson.
The docks arrived last Wednesday and were immediately installed.
“She’s floating — she’s hooked up,” Ferguson said. “It’s a big community project. I’d say we’ve had about 100 volunteers since the project started.”
Ferguson noted an official unveiling of the docks has been scheduled for July 23 during the opening of the annual River John Festival Days.
“We have a few things to do but the docks are in place, the deck is in place and the access is complete,” Frizzell said. “It was a fun project. I’ve been retired for a few years and it was a chance to do this stuff. I very much enjoyed it.”
Besides the floating docks, work has already been done to build the deck, rake and seed the terraced slope, and forge a path to the water.
Society member Barb Harris noted how the idea of a riverfront development was first floated 50 years ago and praised the combination of volunteers and vision that added to the original waterfront a new 40 x 22 foot deck, a terraced slope, and a curving path for people to use to access the deck and dock area.
The docks are designed to be used to launch canoes, kayaks and paddle boards and for temporary tie up of small craft.
Frizzell noted that the community raised the funds for the project and no government money was involved. Local materials and work was used for the most part, while the floating docks came from a Nova Scotia company, he said.
“It was interesting for me,” he said. “In my work life, I’d have 40 people – all tradesmen who knew their work – but we had 60 or 70 people working together at times and everybody had a different skill set. Everyone dug in,” he said. “It was fun for me and at the end of the day we have a nice thing here.”
Many volunteers worked to build the deck and floating docks in River John. The grand opening of Bissell Park Riverfront Deck and Docks will be on July 23, at 1:30 p.m. (Submitted photo)