WHEN hikers and cyclists reach the top of the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve's popular paved trailway, they will now find a new bridge, a new route home and a monument to creative recycling.
Metro Vancouver recently installed the span to link the east and west banks of the Seymour River to Bear Island. The bridge's trusses come from 100-year-old steel B.C. Hydro imported from Lancashire Steel in Scotland in 1912 to span the Coquitlam Dam spillway. It was decommissioned in 1999, disassembled and stored by Metro Vancouver.
For bridge decking, Metro staff used salvaged cedar logs from bridges on roads that were recently deactivated in the Seymour watershed and then sawn into planks with a portable mill.
The project also included improvements to 2,000 square metres of fish habitat upstream from the bridge.
City of North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto, also chair of Metro's utilities commission, praised the project, not only for recycling old material, but for doubling the length of one of the North Shore's most popular trails.
"By re-using an old bridge, we have created a 25-kilometre circle route that will enhance the experience of trail users," Mussatto said.
"Now, hikers and cyclists can go up the west side of the river, cross two bridges before the Seymour Falls Dam, and return on the east side of the river."
While the bridge makes getting across the river easier than ever, it is still a challenging trail and users should be prepared for backcountry travel.
It is recommended they bring a map, compass, rain gear, sunscreen, food, water, and a bicycle tube and repair kit if cycling. The bridge is also liable to be slippery in cold wet weather.