On Wednesday, October 15 a 100 foot long pedestrian and horse bridge will be installed across State Highway 39 in Barton Flats, above Redlands. The bridge is being installed to safely connect the two halves of Camp Tahquitz, which is bisected by Hwy. 38. Highway 38 will be closed on the 15th beginning at 8:30 a.m. and it will reopen by 3:30 p.m. There will be a detour available around the installation site on jinks Lake road.
Camp Tahquitz has been owned and operated by the Long Beach Area Council, Boy Scouts of America since the late 1950’s and it was purchased through a bequest from the estate of early Long Beach community leader, Will J. Reid.
Until the early 1960’s, Hwy. 38 pavement ended a few miles past the camp but today, Highway 38 is a primary access route to the resort communities of Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City. Today the camp has scout program areas on both sides of the highway and the traffic generates over 20,000 pedestrian crossings a year over a now very busy thoroughfare.
After visiting Camp Tahquitz to evaluate the outdoor youth camping and outdoor education programs, the AS&F Foundation decided to fund a critical “Safe Passage Bridge” for future generations of SoCal youth groups.
This project has been in the planning for over four years and would not have happened without the cooperative effort of the District 8 office of Caltrans and State Assemblyman Bonnie Lowenthal.
Camp Tahquitz still faces one big hurdle. To continue serving generations of southern California youth, the camp needs to build a camp dining lodge that meets the demands of 21 century campers and families. They have a unique opportunity with a matching $750,000 grant. If you would like to help them build a dining lodge they are asking for donations. Funds can be sent to: Long Beach Area Council BSA at P.O. Box 7338, Long Beach, Ca. 90807 or call the BSA Council Development Director Marc Bonner at (562) 427-0911.