Paul Levesque was sick and tired of slipping on the snow-covered Big Eddy Bridge, so he decided to take matters into his own hand.
On Friday, the 69-year-old got out his shovel and picked away for seven hours, clearing the walkway all the way across the Columbia River.
“I walk on that bridge every day and it’s slippery as hell. I went to city hall three four times and they said they would get on it, and they never did,” he said. “I grabbed my shovel and decided to shovel it. It was all nice and soft and breaking under your foot steps and making it even worse. I thought it would be nice to get all that ice out of there before it snows again.”
Levesque posted pictures of his work online to his Facebook page Revelstoke Now & Then, which he normally uses for posting historical photos of the community.
His effort earned him tremendous plaudits.
“This is why the Big Eddy is awesome. It’s the people that make it. Thank you Paul so much!” wrote Angie Threatful. “Your selfless act of serving others and helping us be safe is truly inspiring.”
Others knocked the City of Revelstoke for not clearing snow off the bridge properly. We checked SeeClickFix, which the city uses to track concerns, and didn’t see any complaints regarding the Big Eddy Bridge walkway.
I asked Levesque if he felt the walkway was in worse shape this year than previously. He thought it was and felt someone wasn’t doing their job.
Darren Komonoski, the public works manager for the City of Revelstoke, said they did sand and salt the bridge on Jan. 27 and Feb. 15. He said the cold weather making the snow rock solid made it very hard to shovel it clear, adding city crews were also dealing with frozen water pipes.
He said their road maintenance crew does check the walkway daily. Their goal is to keep the height of the snow to three feet below the height of the railing.
“Did the bridge need shoveling? It probably did,” he said. “Prior to that, it was very cold, so we didn’t have the opportunity. We probably would have done it this week.”
He encouraged people to use SeeClickFix if they have issues.
As for Levesque, he said he didn’t want to make the city look bad.
“I did it for myself and a lot of people that walk the bridge every day,” he said. “I went across a couple of times with a big grin on my face.”