Eagle Scout replaces bridge in Madison
Soon-to-be Eagle Scout Wilson Caudell said he is proud of his work on the new bridge in the Simmons Arboretum and feels it will help people in the area a lot.
“I started getting serious about my Eagle project over the summer last year,” Caudell said. “My Scoutmaster told me Madison had a lot of projects they wanted to do, and Cole Smith with the city told me about the old bridge in the Simmons Arboretum near North Bay.”
The Simmons Arboretum is a 10-acre arboretum in Madison that is city-owned, a work in progress, and open to the public to visit and walk through.
Caudell said he presented Smith with the idea of tearing down the old bridge and building a new one.
“I thought it would really help people,” he said.
Caudell is currently with Troop 15 at St. Matthew’s Methodist Church in Madison and estimates receiving his Eagle Scout rank in February of this year.
Caudell settled on the project in September 2022 and started work on replacing the bridge in December.
“We went out there on December 9 and around 20 people showed up to help,” he said. “The old bridge had excessively long steps that were breaking down, so we took those out and made the bridge flush with the ground. We made it more accessible, along with adding gravel so wheelchairs could go across it.”
He said all the wood needed to replace the bridge cost around $600, and the City of Madison took care of the funding.
“It feels good to be done with the project, and I was happy with the way it turned out,” Caudell said. “We had people thank us while we were working on it and that it would make the park look much better. It’ll make the area look a lot nicer overall and it works with the gravel that officials have already added.”
Caudell and the rest of the scouts from Troop 15 involved in the project will be recognized by the City of Madison during their next Board of Alderman meeting.