Every engineering project has its idiosyncrasies. But not all engineering jobs take into account the impact of wildlife and hockey pucks.
Those were just two obstacles faced by the engineers renovating the Marsh Boardwalk in Point Pelee National Park. The park’s kilometre-long boardwalk, which reopened this spring, features a new floating section, a pagoda-style viewing area and a new canoe and kayak dock-all wheelchair-accessible. As soon as the ice thawed in the marsh, the push was on to complete construction before it could interfere with migrating birds.
“There were so many variables to take into consideration,” says UWindsor grad Tim Glos (BASc 1994), whose architectural and engineering firm designed and coordinated the boardwalk renovation.
“The water level in the marsh can fluctuate three to four feet,” he says. Other variables that can take their toll on the fragile ecosystem are the waves, winds and wildlife – even errant hockey pucks. It was a challenging design project and just one example of how engineers play a key role, often behind the scenes, in Canada's national parks.