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Crossing the Bedsprings Bridge

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  • Crossing the Bedsprings Bridge

    Back in the 70s, there was a road that went straight from Shawingan to Port Renfew. About halfway in between, there was a bridge that crosses the canyon at Williams creek, called the bedsprings bridge. Unfortunately it was torn down a long time ago, and no longer is there a way from Shawnigan to Port Renfrew without having to travel north on fleet/lens main to connect to Harris Creek main (aka Pacific Marine highway).

    However, by opening an old branch off the Williams Creek roads and about 100m of forest, there may be a way to build a connector that will once again connect the old highway - at least for dirt bikes.

    I would like to go and explore this area to see if it is possible to build this connector and see if it is viable for 650 size bikes. The more use we get, the more likely it will stay open. Let me know if you are interested.

  • #2
    I'd be interested, as we discussed yesterday. Lots of contour lines on the proposed connector route though, what's the grade?

    LOVE the photo of the bridge, I've heard about it but never seen a picture before.


    • #3
      The two options A and B are pretty steep - a bit steeper as the final hill to the Avro plane crash. If we angle it towards the the end of the clear cut, we can reduce the grade considerably (but then more slash to make it through).

      Oddly, when I was scoping out the route from the renfrew side, the slope was not that steep at all. I do have to hike it first, to see if its possible. That will be the best way to tell.
      Last edited by DirtClunker; 06-07-2015, 08:40 PM.


      • #4
        Damn, that is or was some kind of bridge! it looks like it was big and wide enough for at least a pick up truck, but i can't see anyone in their right mind going over that in a logging truck? Do you know any of the history on how and why it was put in there in the first place? I would guess that it would have to have been some type of cable (big assed cables) suspension design?
        you know-once your over the hill,you tend to pick up speed!


        • #5
          I have a picture around here somewhere of a full sized off road logging truck (yes, the big mofos) on that bridge. The bridge is way bigger than it looks. It was put there for logging, like (most) everything else around here.


          • #6
            Here is a few more pics of the bridge. Built in 1959. Kids burnt it sometime in the 1970s. Rotted out and torn down.


            • #7
              Awesome. I crossed that bridge many times in the '70's by motorcycle, car and truck/camper. Good memories! I watched motorhomes and logging trucks cross over. I still have the 1973 guidebook 'Logging Road Travel on Vancouver Island' by Alec Merriman I used to explore the south Island. This was a provincial road back then long before all these lands were given to logging companies and became private. Such a loss to the BC public. It was always exciting crossing this hanging bridge, if icy you had to take a run at it to make it up the other side! I've ridden/hiked to both sides of Williams Gorge, now completely overgrown and not recognizable from what I remember. You can still see remains of the cable mounts that were anchored deep into the rock and rotting stacks of huge timbers that might've been the bridge deck. I'd be interested in helping explore a bypass route.

              Last edited by Buck; 06-12-2015, 10:58 AM. Reason: added book link


              • #8
                Brian and I will head out to hike out the route. Saturday June 20th - meet at Burnt Bridge park - 9:30AM


                • #9
                  Well Brian and I went to walk the route. We walked the old overgrown road to the forest above the clear cut, to the edge of the clearcut on the renfrew side.

                  A lot of the old road is pretty good, just mostly overgrown. There is a stretch of "lumpy" areas that will require some work for a bigger bike to make it through. There is also a couple of washed out sections that will require smoothing out. Chainsaw, pick axe and 4-5 days would have it passable. Not pretty, but passable.

                  So thats the easy stuff...

                  The forest from the old road bed to the refrew side clear cut is loaded with old rotten large cuttings, and somewhat steep. Logs up high, etc etc. This would require work just to get a dirt bike trail through. Getting a KLR through would be a ton more work.

                  Then the clearcut. The upper portion has a steepish slope, then a moderate cut to the road. Typical clearcut - lots of slash.

                  I have built stuff like this before for enduro race courses. In this case you can take a lot of short cuts, cause you want to make it hard for the racers. But for this connector, it should be passable by a KLR with an average rider.

                  Anyways - it is work, no doubt. Questions are: is it worth it? Will it be used? Are there better trails to put the effort in to? Do we have enough people to make it happen?

                  Here is Brian walking the "KLR Route" through the forest to the edge of the clearcut.


                  • #10
                    Is there any hope for clearing that gray road that wanders up the hill from the Port Renfrew side? The map seems to indicate that it did go through at one time. But, that seems too obvious so I suppose you already considered and rejected that option...


                    • #11
                      Yes, that is a good idea.

                      Brian, Mark and I were chatting about that. We are going to take a look from the Port Renfrew side in the next week or so, see what it is like.


                      • #12
                        I was looking through old home movies from my Dad (RIP) and came across a few frames of the bedspring bridge.



                        • #13
                          Cool Bridge, kinda reminds me of the suspension bridge we built for the 2012 MC show

                          Tom Timmerman
                          Past President DSBC


                          • #14
                            Williams Creek Connector

                            I was out this way last week and was wondering if the connector had been developed. If not count me in for a work crew. Thanks.


                            • #15
                              Thanks for sharing this! that bridge was beautiful.
                              Matthew Do | CRF250L | VA7MDO