COOS BAY — Dozens of Bay Area skateboarders have to find other places to skate for a couple of weeks, as the Mingus Park Skate Park closes for repairs Monday.
The timing may not be perfect, but the work is vital for the long-term use of the park.
“If we don’t do this, then this is going to deteriorate away and we’ll have to close it because of safety issues,” Randy Dixon said Wednesday as he surveyed the variety of cracks running through the twists and turns of the cement structure.
Dixon, operations superintendent with Coos Bay’s Public Works Department, said this will be the first major repair work at the park since it was built about seven years ago.
“All the surface cracks you see, we’re going to grind them down and then go in and epoxy jet,” he said. “It’s an injection system that will inject into the crack and bond the elements back together as if it was just poured.”
Unfortunately, Dixon says dry weather is necessary for the repairs — meaning the closure happens during the busy summer season for skateboarders. It will be closed June 24 to July 8.
“I realize that this is the time of year where it is best used all of the time.” But, Dixon explained, the epoxy takes 72 hours to cure, and then another 72 hours is needed to inject the sealer on it to protect the surface. The city also will rework the drains and paint them.
Other parts of the maintenance project will be handled by the city before the sealing can commence. That includes pressure washing the concrete, grinding cracks, and fixing metal rails and the fence.
The repair work will cost about $15,000 to $16,000, but Dixon says it has all been accounted for in the city budget.
The owners of the Time Bomb store in downtown Coos Bay see a lot of the skateboarders coming through their doors, and say the repairs are a worthy investment. They say they’ve heard excitement that the maintenance project is getting done, even in summer.
Co-owner Angeline Appel says the park’s condition can draw attention and comparison from far beyond our community borders.
“A lot of pro skateboarders travel up and down the coast and check out various skate parks. Ours is actually featured on a lot of websites,” Appel said. “It gets a lot more attention than you’d really think.”
Dixon says the skateboarders will notice the difference once the work is done.
“They’re going to have a lot smoother surface on the corners as they come around the areas that they go off,” he said. “The landings — there are not going to be any cracks in the concrete, so its going to be a nice smooth surface.”
Reporter Tim Novotny can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, at email@example.com, or on Twitter at @novots34.