Deep in the Seymour River valley, the rattle of an impact drill echoes off the canyon walls. Crews are installing the some of the final deck planks on the North Shore’s newest suspension bridge.
Metro Vancouver invited the media for sneak peek of the bridge in its final weeks of construction on Friday.
Hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians should be able to resume crossing the bridge by mid-December, according to Metro Vancouver.
“I think Metro Vancouver staff and myself are extremely excited to get this bridge back open. It’s been a long time and we’re going to be using it as much as the public to do maintenance and things on the other side. It’s going to be good,” said Mike Mayers, division manager of watershed operations and protection for Metro Vancouver.
In December, 2014, a rockslide choked off the Seymour River, temporarily swamping the original Twin Bridges and making the span structurally unstable.
Mayers said he is expecting trail users of all kinds will be glad to have their bridge back.
“During the week we’d see hundreds of people during the day. On a weekend, maybe up to a thousand. I would expect when it first opens, we’re going to see a real rush of people to get back to their regular routine and also to see the third suspension bridge on the North Shore. We’ve got one on every major river now.”
Surespan contractors have been at work in the 73-metre long, 2.5-metre wide suspension bridge since May. Mayers said it is coming in on its $2-million budget. Even after the bridge itself is complete, Metro crews will still have to rebuild some of the trail connections that were lost to flooding on the east side of the river.
Metro hasn’t quite settled yet on what the name for the new bridge will be. For a time, it was going by the working title of Fisherman’s Trail Bridge but Mayers said they are now leaning toward calling it the Seymour Suspension Bridge, in keeping with its cousins across the Capilano River and Lynn Creek.