Construction on the Fairy Creek pedestrian bridge officially began on Apr. 14. The FTA hopes it will be in operation by the summer.

Work begins on Fairy Creek pedestrian bridge

Construction of the Fairy Creek Trail bridge has begun, to provide people with a safer alternative than using the Highway 3 bridge.

The Fernie Trails Alliance (FTA) has started construction of the Fairy Creek Trail pedestrian bridge, to provide people with a safer alternative than using the Highway 3 bridge. The new bridge will cross the Fairy River just beside the Highway 3 bridge. According to Simon Piney, one of three members on the FTA’s bridge committee, the City of Fernie, FTA, and Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) identified the need for the bridge up to three years ago.

“The FTA decided to take it on, but without a dollar in the bank for it the main focus over the past few years has been to raise money for the bridge,” he said. “We have had to go to a bunch of places to get grants. It is more than what the FTA usually does, it’s our biggest bridge project.”

After completing surveys, the FTA determined that the bridge will help more than 10,000 people cross Fairy Creek each year.

“We did some surveys on people that use these trails. We put up an electronic camera on just one trail and had over 12,000 people on it a year,” he said. “Then you add to that the Visitor Centre and start adding in the people who live up on Dicken Road and then you’re up to tens of thousands of journeys that we can hopefully steer off the highway.”

The estimated completed cost of the bridge will be around a quarter of a million dollars. The costs and construction will be split into three phases.

“It is done in phases, the initial phase, which is engineering was around $10,000 to get a survey done, plans drawn up and that sort of thing. The budget to get to the bridge structure, where we are at now, to get decking and railings will probably be around $125,000. We really wanted to get the bridge itself done, the following phase is getting a roof on, doing some landscaping and paving, that should be another $125,000.”

The workers are just starting the foundation process, with Summit Contracting doing the foundation work. The bridge has been over-designed and uses similar supports that the vehicle bridge does, according to FTA chair and one of the City of Fernie’s Operational Services Department engineers, Terry Nelson.

“The I-beams are similar to what you would see on the Highway 3 bridge,” he said. “Our part is the foundation and steel work. It will take approximately a month and a half to complete that.”

While there are three phases for the bridge, the end of Phase 2 will have a functional bridge for pedestrians to use.

“The initial phase will have the steel arriving in early to mid May and it will take them two to three weeks to make the adjustments and customizing,” said Piney. “Then they will assemble it, maybe put the decking on and put it in place. The final stage, which is to put on the railings and such should be early June, then we will be good to go.”

Nelson concluded that, the goal is to finish Phase 2 and have the bridge in safe and usable condition by July 1. More work to the design and aesthetics of the bridge is the next phase of the construction.

 

Just Posted

Fires highlight need for more volunteers

Short-staffed volunteer fire departments in Elk Valley, South Country rely on mutual aid

Motorcyclist grateful to be alive, thanks fellow drivers

Over a dozen people stopped to assist Lori Hann after she tumbled off her bike on Hwy 3, Saturday

Local athletes ready for BC Summer Games

Twenty-four athletes from the Elk Valley and South Country will compete at the 2018 BC Summer Games.

GearHub staff staying positive after fire

Sporting goods store to fully reopen by end of July

UPDATE: New lead narrows the search for Serval cat

UPDATE, July 17: A new lead has narrowed the search for Aquila… Continue reading

BC Games: Day 1 comes to an end

Medals have already been handed out following one day of competition in the 2018 BC Summer Games

The Free Press editor wins awards

Editor Phil McLachlan has been recognized at the 2018 Canadian Community Newspaper Awards.

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

Most Read