Elevated Walkway to be Installed at Beluga Slough

Peter Sheppard


     While it currently consists of 20-year-old degraded plastic planks, the Beluga Slough Trail in Homer will soon be receiving a new, elevated metal-grating walkway that is designed to be safer and more environmentally friendly.
     Given the large amount of wildlife one can see around the Beluga Slough, it seems only natural that such a prominent feature of the Homer landscape be provided with access for nature enthusiasts to get a closer look, which came in the form the original Beluga Slough Trail.
     The trail was installed 20 years ago and now, after nearly five years of planning persistance, the Public Works Department of Homer is reconstructing it. Public Works Director Carey Meyer said that the primary reason for this was to protect the habitat of the Slough.
     "About four or five years ago, the city acquired a grant ... to restore wetlands," said Meyer. "For $450,000 ... we will replace this with an elevated, steel grate trail."
     Meyer also stated that in addition to providing the wetlands with more hospitable conditions to develop in, safety of anyone using the trail was also a main concern.
     "Beyond restoring the wetlands, it's going to be a much safer trail," he said. "The new trail will be flat and you wont be able to slip on it."
     With reconstruction on the Beluga Slough Trail still ongoing, Meyer says that the initial phase of removing the old plastic planks should be finished by next Tuesday and once that’s finished, actual construction of the new trail should be concluded in a few weeks time, and Meyer hopes both Homer locals and visitors turn out to enjoy it once it’s finished.
     For more information about the ongoing reconstruction of the Beluga Slough Trail visit the Public Works page at cityofhomer-ak.gov