Zack Moore Eagle Scout Project
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
Getting across Prairie Run Creek on the north side of West Cherry Street in Sunbury has been a problem for a long time. The sidewalk dead-ends in front of Sunbury Memorial Park and starts again west of the Sunbury United Methodist Church (SUMC) lower parking lot entrance. To cross the creek pedestrians are forced to walk on the edge of the roadway for almost the length of a football field, or cross the heavily traveled roadway to access the sidewalk in front of Community Library.
That problem may soon be solved, but not by some large-dollar public works project. Big Walnut High School junior Zack Moore, a member of Boy Scouts of America Simon Kenton Council Troop 192, plans to build a pedestrian bridge across Prairie Run Creek connecting the sidewalk in front of the cemetery with the Sunbury United Methodist Church parking lot as an Eagle Scout project.
Moore visited Sunbury Village Council last September and explained both the problem and his vision for fixing the problem. Moore described an eight– to 10 foot-wide, 40-foot long flat footbridge 50 to 75 feet north of Cherry Street. The east side would have a connector to the sidewalk in front of the cemetery; the west side would have a walk terminating in the SUMC parking lot.
Sunbury’s council members liked his idea, and Moore subsequently received a letter from then Sunbury Mayor Len Weatherby granting permission to proceed with the project.
“The footbridge would not only be a sidewalk connector, it would also open up parking at the church for funerals in the cemetery,” Moore said. “I’ve held meetings with the church and they are behind the project. I’ve also met with Sunbury Village Administrator Dave Martin and village engineer Wes Hall — we’ve talked about each step of the project.”
Moore said the Troop 192 leadership and the Simon Kenton Eagle Scout Board have also approved his project; and CT Consultants will make the project drawings.
“The goal is to begin construction in the spring and have it completed by Labor Day of 2013,” Moore said. “Over the winter we’ll do a lot of fundraising — we estimate the project will cost no more than $25,000, including labor costs. If we have more volunteers and labor and materials donations the costs will go down.”
Moore said major costs would be decking, railing on the bridge, excavating and concrete. Two I-beams have already been donated for the footbridge span; volunteers will be needed to power-wash and paint the I-beams.
“We’re planning on having an informal committee at the church to help with signing up volunteers and fundraising,” Moore said. “The next step is identifying concrete and lumber sources. Ron Stemen Excavating has volunteered to help with excavation. We’ll need certified welders, a concrete contractor and supplier, a lumber source and assemblage, and general laborers.
“The village agreed to take over the footbridge when the project is complete,” Moore continued. “There will be a release date and opening ceremony, and a plaque will be installed identifying all significant donors.”
Moore said right now he especially wants to make certain that the Prairie Run Footbridge project has enough committed support to proceed.
To volunteer labor, materials or major construction assistance to the project, or for additional information, email Zack Moore at < firstname.lastname@example.org >.