Shaun Reimer at the Penticton dam regulating the water release from Okanagan Lake further south into the Okanagan Valley watershed in 2021. (OBWB photo)

Shaun Reimer at the Penticton dam regulating the water release from Okanagan Lake further south into the Okanagan Valley watershed in 2021. (OBWB photo)

Penticton dam walking bridge back open

The popular dam walkway was closed to replace the decking and beams

The walking bridge at the Okanagan Lake dam in Penticton is open once again after being closed for upgrades for over a month.

Shaun Reimer, head of public safety and protection for the province, said the entire bridge deck and the beams were showing their age and had to be replaced.

“That walking bridge was put in a long time ago, maybe 40 or 50 years ago. We started to see some rot and so it became a public safety issue,” said Reimer.

Work began in March, which shut down the bridge to the public.

Several people have taken to Facebook asking how long the walking bridge would be closed.

Supply chain delays also forced them to extend the closure longer than anticipated.

“We are happy to say that the bridge will be open to the public today, (April 26),” he said.

The decking was replaced and the wooden beams were replaced with steel which will give the bridge extra strength, he added.

The Penticton dam bridge connects pedestrians and cyclists from the rose garden to the channel walkway.

In 2021, the Okanagan Lake Dam went under review to prevent surprises that come from extreme weather.

At the time, Reimer, who is the dam manager, said the dam is 70 years old but is structurally sound and seismically safe. “That said, however, the whole system that manages lake levels can always benefit from a review so we can prepare for more extreme weather events,” he added.

READ MORE: Preparing Penticton dam for climate change, flooding

BC Lakes