New bridge in Maple Ridge connects trails to Golden Ears Park

The North Alouette Greenway bridge open on the weekend

The North Alouette River Greenway Bridge opened on the weekend.

The North Alouette River Greenway Bridge opened on the weekend.

It’s now easier to stay off the road and enjoy the greenery after the opening of the North Alouette River Greenway Bridge on the weekend.

Maple Ridge completed the foot and horse bridge thanks to help from the federal  Recreational Infrastructure Canada program.

The bridge connects a network of trails that have been built and maintained by the Haney Horsemen Association, and is located on a 30.5-hectare parcel of land acquired in 2006 through a partnership between the District of Maple Ridge and Metro Vancouver Parks.

The RInC program has also allowed Maple Ridge to replace the Vernon Bridge at 216th Street and 136th Avenue, and improve trails with the construction of staging area facilities off Park Lane near the Maple Ridge Equi-Sport Centre.

M2K Construction Ltd. and Eagle Bridge Inc. built the bridge and AECOM Canada Ltd. designed it.

Environmental consultants were on site to monitor stages of construction and provide a replanting plan that will be completed in the fall.

The two bridges cost $597,544, a sum reduced by federal grants.

The North Alouette River Greenway Bridge, near Park Lane and 136th Avenue, will replace a structure that was previously removed and keep horses from having to cross in the streams where they can damage fish habitat.

The greenway follows the North Alouette River, then connects to Tim’s Trail and Docksteader Trail in Silver Valley. Connecting trails then lead to Golden Ears Provincial Park.

The entire route includes only a short passage on the shoulder of 136th Avenue.

Thanks to gaps filled in the trails in the Docksteader Trail area a few years ago as development progressed, most of the trail is now off road, keeping users off 132nd Avenue.

Costs for the Greenway bridge were higher than projected because of the decision to add a water main utility on to the bridge in order to serve adjacent property.

That was part of a land exchange between Biln Farms, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

The bridge also had to be relocated, because of concerns about building on the dike. The height also had to be raised so it could better withstand flood waters.