Craig Schaper (Bridge Specialist) and Natalya Kucherenko (Structural Engineer-in-Training) visiting the completed project site
The Spirit Trail is a 35 kilometre greenway that extends from Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay in the BC Lower Mainland. The trail provides a safe route for pedestrians and cyclists to access parks, commercial and residential areas, and transportation hubs.
Situated along a picturesque waterfront overlooking Burrard Inlet, the Mosquito Creek Marina section of the Spirit Trail is one of the last and most challenging sections of the trail. A joint initiative of the City of North Vancouver and Squamish Nation, this 250 metre long section of the trail traverses the Mosquito Creek Marina on Squamish First Nations Land.
Project Manager, Craig Schaper, tells us, “Prior to the construction of this section of the trail, pedestrians either stopped at the marina or took a long and relatively unsafe bypass route along steep inclines, negotiating heavy traffic, and crossing a railway corridor.”
A construction management project delivery approach allowed early contractor involvement to enhance constructibility and cost-effectiveness. Collaboration between the City of North Vancouver, Squamish Nation, Core Project Management, the contractor, and stakeholders helped to develop an innovative design that minimized impact on the marina and the public.
The new trail includes a pedestrian bridge over Mosquito Creek, a concrete walkway, lighting, a marina boatlift, and earth retaining systems. A portion of the trail is constructed under the boatlift, with the pathway descending 3.4 metres below sea level during extreme high tide. A drainage pump station was designed to manage rainfall runoff into the tunnel, as well as potential inundation during extreme storm events.
Associated Engineering led the multi-disciplinary team, including structural, marine, civil, mechanical, electrical, lighting, and geotechnical engineers; environmental specialists; and landscape architects. Key staff included Craig Schaper, Helen Du, Natalya Kucherenko, Christian Brumpton, Chris Hegele, and Shirlyn Liao.
Trail users appreciate the improved safety and ease of access to parks
Senior Structural Engineer, Helen Du, says, “The typical daily tidal fluctuations of around 3 metres resulted in constantly changing loading to the tunnel structure, with king-tide fluctuations being even larger. Our design accounted for significant buoyancy forces during extreme high tides.”
To facilitate construction of the piled foundations in short tidal work windows, we designed precast pile caps and custom pile collars to enable the contractor to efficiently land each pile cap on the piles and install cast-in-place monolithic connections. Similar accelerated construction details were developed for the precast pile caps of the boatlift and pedestrian bridge.
Completed in July 2018, the Mosquito Creek Spirit Trail provides safe access to parks and amenities for residents and visitors.