UPDATE: Mathew’s Park playground reopening pushed back again

Mathew’s Park playground reopening was upshed back after weeks of supply chain challenges, missed shipments and an issue with the rubberized tile surfacing.
The playground at Mathew’s Park will be reopened in a few weeks. (Jordan Prentice, Energeticcity.ca)

UPDATE: Additional information was added regarding the reopening date.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Mathew’s Park playground reopening was pushed back after weeks of supply chain challenges, missed shipments and an issue with the rubberized tile surfacing.

Some upgrades to Mathew’s Park include traditional playground equipment, such as climbing structures, slides and swings.

A brand new upgrade is the obstacle agility course, said Ryan Harvey, communications manager for the City of Fort St. John.

“One of the pieces of feedback we heard during the public engagement a couple of years ago was that people really wanted some things that maybe some older kids could play on,” Harvey said.

The trail, new parking lot, the basketball court, and the surface tiling on the accessible swings still need to be completed, but Harvey said the park and playground should be open within the next couple of days.

The park was supposed to reopen in a matter of days, but during final inspections, the city discovered the rubberized tile surfacing was not installed correctly and failed to meet safety standards.

The surfacing will need to be reinstalled, delaying the park’s completion. In addition, the upgrades to the basketball courts were delayed until spring 2024.

He said the initial delay in the park’s completion was due to a few supply chain issues.

“The playground equipment was a bit delayed, then when some of it did arrive, the surfacing was the wrong surfacing, so we had to wait for the new stuff to arrive as well,” Harvey explained.

He believes the supply chain issues are still due to the pandemic.

“For instance, last year, water and sewer pipe was extremely hard to get,” Harvey said.

Another reason there may have been issues is because playground equipment is specialized, and the demand has increased after the pandemic.

“There are only a few companies that make and supply them in Canada, so unfortunately, your options are slightly limited in those areas,” Harvey said.

“If they have challenges, then we get backed up.”

For the most part, in 2023, supply chain timelines have returned to normal, said Harvey.

Internally, the city is looking at different processes to ensure they can get ahead of these issues going forward, such as looking at how they can order or procure differently.


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