Drumbeg road rebuilt on foundation of Lions and BC Parks partnership

Dixon Kenny

Gabriola Lions Club

Wednesday, November 13 2019

At the gateway to Drumbeg Provincial Park (L-R) Park Ranger and Communications Liason Craig Meding and Senior Park Ranger John King of BC Parks West Coast Region with Gabriola Lions Club members Dixon Kenny and Dr. Bob Rooks. Derek Kilbourn photo

From the very beginning, the problem with the Drumbeg Park Access Road was a poorly built road base that didn’t allow for adequate drainage during the winter run-off period. This allowed the rain to pool and create its own path down the center and edges of the road as it ran downhill towards the sea and as we soon saw, the road began to erode and form large pot-holes. The patch-work that was done over the years by the Gabriola Lions Club became increasingly expensive and didn’t correct the underlying problem because all of the gravel was soon washed away. As result, in 2018, Dixon Kenny of the Lions Club began working with BC Parks to get funding for the aggregate that would be needed for a long term fix. However, while BC Parks was working to come up with some funding for the material, the big hurdle of the cost of the machine work still remained. Fortunately, Dr Bob Rooks, a proud and active Gabriola Lion, stepped forward and with the support of the BC Parks Foundation (the official charitable partner of BC’s parks), he donated his personnel, equipment and expertise to rebuild the road and make it happen. 

Over three long days last week, Dr Rooks and his crew worked very hard to raise the road surface almost 2 feet in places. They put in a solid bottom base using 364 Yds of broken and crushed Sandstone, laid down a middle layer with 102 Yds of Pit Run (a mixture of sand and aggregate) and then finished and crested the top with 185 Yds of gravel. 

That, combined with some ditching and a culvert, has created a natural water runoff on each side of the road surface which will help prevent future pot-holes. 

The Park is now open once again largely due to the generosity of our dedicated Lion, Dr. Rooks, and his crew. 

Most importantly, what we have now is a long-term solution that will solidify over time. Over the next little while, we can expect Dr Rooks and his crew to “touch up” the road as it settles following winter rains and “ruts” a bit from all of the traffic. 

Now, thanks to the Gabriola Lions Club, BC Parks, and the BC Parks Foundation, we can all get out and enjoy Drumbeg Park—one of Gabriola’s most beautiful locations. 

This project has been a great partnership that will hopefully inspire others to work together to make BC such a wonderful place to live.