Magelssen Bluff City Park road gets makeover

TCR/Scott Bestul Rushford Lions Club members Jack, left, and Jim O’Donnell stand by the new gate by the entrance to Magelssen Bluff City Park.
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The road to the scenic overlook at Magelssen Bluff City Park has a new look, thanks to city crews and the Rushford Lions Club.

While the road to the park is closed and gated every winter, City of Rushford Public Works Supervisor Roger Knutson said his crews had long felt the posts that anchored those gates needed replacing. “The gates weren’t really swinging right, and we just thought we could make it look a little nicer,” Knutson said.

City crews removed the gates, took them to the shop last summer and replaced needed hardware. Knutson said the new posts and top crossbar were constructed from utility poles already in the city’s storage. “This was a good project to use those poles, as it allowed us to reclaim them and keep our costs low,” he noted. When it came time to install the posts, a Sentence To Serve crew helped mix concrete for the footings, and city crews erected the utility poles in a few hours, according to Knutson.

While city crews installed the posts and beam for the project, the Rushford Lions Club volunteered to create a sign for the new gateway. Lions club members Jack and Jim O’Donnell took on the task of making a sign denoting the Magelssen Bluff Park. “The city actually has a router for making signs, “ Jack O’Donnell said. “So I just went to work on the sign, since I’ve used that machine to make many other signs for projects in the area.”

O’Donnell said the wood for the sign was southern yellow pine, which was used in the construction of the original Creekside Park in 1999.  “After the flood in 2007, we salvaged as much of that wood as possible and have been using it ever since,” he noted. “It’s nice when we can put it to use on a project like this.”

Knutson said there are plans for at least two more signs on Magelssen Bluff in the future. The signs will direct visitors to the park, as well as scenic sites once they arrive. The city closes the gates to the bluff road during winter for safety reasons, maintaining the road only so crews servicing the cell tower located in the park can have access. Gates will be taken off in the spring when roads are clear.