Ski club working to replace old bridge

HANCOCK – A 20-year-old bridge spanning Swedetown Creek in Swedetown Gorge in Hancock was damaged by high water caused by spring runoff this year, and members of the Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club are hoping to raise funds to replace it.

Arlyn Aronson, KNSC member who also grooms the Maasto Hiihto and Churning Rapids Ski Trails in Swedetown Gorge, said the high water caused erosion on one end of the middle bridge, which dislodged some of the timber frame and weakened the structure.

While attempting to repair the damage caused by the high water, KNSC members discovered many of the timbers are rotten.

“(The high water) ended its life expectancy,” Aronson said.

He said the plan is to replace the 12-foot by 38-foot wooden bridge with a 12-foot by 42-foot steel-frame bridge, which is expected to cost $30,000 without labor.

KNSC members plan to construct the bridge once enough funds are raised, Aronson said.

The grooming of the trails is paid for by the city of Hancock and Aronson said the city will also pay for half the cost of constructing a new bridge.

To pay for the new bridge, Aronson said the 260-member KNSC is conducting a fundraising effort, which includes a concert from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Orpheum Theatre in Hancock.

Tickets are $15 if purchased before Saturday from club members, the Orpheum, Down Wind Sports in Houghton and Cross Country Sports in Calumet. Tickets are $20 on Saturday at the theatre. For more information, go online to