Elk River Bridge Rebuild Project

$8,980 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 95 people in 27 months
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Clare McDaniel
on behalf of Mary Willis
West Virginia’s massive flooding along the Elk River started at the headwaters in Slatyfork, Pocahontas County. Pocahontas County is known as the birthplace of rivers, and is one of the areas that has received extensive damage from the recent flooding.
Mary and Gil Willis, owners and operators of the Elk River Inn in Slatyfork near Snowshoe lost their only access bridge to their home and business, and are now cutoff, without access to US219.

Gil, Mary, and the entire Willis family are well known for supporting many wide-ranging local efforts throughout the past 35 years, and are now in need of your assistance to raise an estimated $65,000 to replace their bridge across the headwaters of the Elk River from US 219.

The Willises and their inn’s summer emphasis on fly fishing and mountain biking, was well as their winter focus on snowboarding and pioneering of Mid-Atlantic Nordic skiing, have played a major role in contributing to the area’s much needed tourism industry. The couple also voluntarily host the US Forest Service’s Props Run trailhead to bring added access to the national forest, nationally highlighting the mountain bike opportunities of the area.

That prominent forest service trail, the inn, and the Willis' are now stranded and need our communal help. Let’s give back to the folks who’ve welcomed us into their lives and whose 35-year commitment to West Virginia has refined the outdoor offerings of an isolated and economically challenged piece of God’s Country.

This campaign is being put together by Whitey McDaniel, from Morgantown WV. I have been a longtime believer/supporter of ERTC and all they have done for the county and state. I am also Mary's brother-in-law, married to her sister Clare, and uncle to their children Thurston and Gus.

With the bridge totally washed out, and the center pillar (estimated at 35 tons!) moved over 6 feet  by the force of the flood waters (see attached video!), the entire 65' span of the bridge has to be reconstructed from 219 to the island. Work will be starting immediately, and your assistance will be greatly appreciated!

We have also started a Facebook page for this project, so you can follow the progress and see/share past images of the old bridge!  https://www.facebook.com/ERTCbridgerebuild/
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Hey folks! Thanks to everyone for the very kind support on this! The guys (Taylor, Thurston, Gil!, and Reed) have been working fine very long days, and have made a lot of progress!

They have raided the bridge about 4 feet, so the NEXT 1,000 yr flood shouldn't touch it! They also changed the design and and that, plus the local help, dropped the estimated pice by around $30,000 or so - so the cost issues are being attacked from both sides!

Here are some pics - about a week old or so, more to come!
Blasting the old support - it's gone!
Setting up forms on the island side
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Good News!

Because we have been able to source local materials and labor, the bridge rebuild estimate is now closer to $35,000. Contractor friends have been generous and kind. We are building the frames for the concrete piers and hope to pour one this week if the weather permits.
We cannot thank everyone enough for the support, both monetarily and emotionally, that we have received. We've heard from many friends who still hold memories of Elk River dear, and that means the world to us.

We can't give a realistic finish date yet. Still crossing the ford when the water is not up, but we'll keep everyone updated.

Our love to all of you,

Mary, Gil & Thurston
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We now have access through our ford, thanks to Taylor and Thurston. Bridge re-build next!
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$8,980 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 95 people in 27 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created June 26, 2016
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larry camp
26 months ago

Hoping you're all back better than ever soon.

Lois and Jim Luckett
26 months ago

You were so good to us during Ben and Meghan's wedding. Hope you are able to rebuild soon.

Courtney Sheff
26 months ago

We look forward to our next visit! Adam & Courtney Sheff

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