Rotting posts prompt play equipment removal

Written by Dick Mason, The Observer May 24, 2013 11:13 am

Tee Gandy examines timber posts that are rotting on playground equipment at  Garden Club Park, located at Y Avenue and Depot Street. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
Tee Gandy examines timber posts that are rotting on playground equipment at Garden Club Park, located at Y Avenue and Depot Street. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

Children who had intended to use the play equipment at Garden Club Park this weekend need to make other plans.

 City of La Grande Parks Department staff began removing the play equipment at Garden Club Park, also known as Y Park, Thursday morning. The equipment — a swing set, slide and climbing apparatus — is being removed because it has been determined to not be safe, said City of La Grande Parks Director Mark Touhey.  

The bases of the timber posts supporting the play equipment are rotting and have deteriorated to the point they longer can safely support the equipment, Touhey said.

Their deterioration has been expedited by the fact the equipment is in the shade, is in an irrigated area and is based in sand, he said.

“Sand holds in water,’’ Touhey said. 

 The problem with timber posts was discovered during a recent inspection.

All play equipment in the City of La Grande park system is inspected weekly, and also given a cursory inspection each day. 

The play equipment at Garden Club Park, which is at Y Avenue and Depot Street, will be completely removed by late next week. Chainsaws and a backhoe will be used during the removal process. 

The swing set portion of the play equipment will be replaced this summer. The slide and climbing apparatus will be replaced later when the parks department has money in its budget for the purchase of this equipment. 

The sand at the play equipment site will be replaced with engineered bark chips. This will allow the park to meet federal Americans with Disabilities Accessibility standards. The reason is that wheelchairs can roll on bark chips, Touhey said.