©South County News/The Daily News
Thursday morning August 23, while many of those who use Woodland’s skatepark were probably still asleep, Glacier Northwest of Vancouver rolled into Horseshoe Lake Park to pour concrete, bringing Woodland’s 8300 square foot skateboard park one step closer to completion.
Woodland police officer Blayden Wall headed up the effort to raise funds to build a skatepark because he was tired of chasing skateboarders from parking lots, city streets, and sidewalks. Money to build the park was generated by grants, fundraisers, and donations of time, materials, and funds.
Phase one, a steep bowl-shaped structure, was completed a year ago. Phase two, now under construction, will offer stairs, rails, and flat surfaces.
Glacier’s light-blue truck sat near the still lake Thursday morning, purring softly. A maintenance worker in an orange jacket and yellow hard hat used a weed trimmer along the edge of Lakeshore Road. He turned to glance down at the project as he walked by. Cars and trucks sped by on nearby I-5. Most passengers, headed for work or their vacation destination, were probably oblivious to the work going on just west of the freeway.
The robotic arm of a red Glacier truck raised and lowered until it was in the right position for dispensing the concrete. As it stretched and flexed its joints, it could have been auditioning for a movie part as a robotic monster.
A sharp beep sounded. The concrete mixer of the blue truck slowly turned in a clockwise direction, round and round. Rocks that would soon become part of the hard-surfaced skateboard ramps could be heard tumbling against the mixer’s walls.
A worker dressed in t-shirt, shorts, and rubber boots guided the hose that dangled from the robotic arm. Concrete from the spinning white tumbler on the blue truck poured into a chute on the red truck where it was carried through the hose held by the robotic arm. As concrete was dispensed, half of a Fleetwood mobile home, recently built here in Woodland, rolled by on Lakeshore Drive.
Once the concrete had been poured, the long arm was swung to the back of the truck where a worker secured the flopping tube.
After dispensing the concrete, the mixer on the blue truck reversed directions, slowly spinning counter-clockwise. A worker in an orange hard hat sprayed off his boots and then climbed to the top of the blue truck where he hosed off the chute that had carried the concrete to the red truck. The clear water became dark grey as it poured to the ground, being washed away so that it would not harden on the chute.
With spreaders on long poles, workers smoothed the concrete to create the finish that will become a place for Woodland youths to master tricks on their skateboards.
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