Users of the Nelson Salmo Great Northern Trail will be enjoying a new trestle after crews recently completed work on the last bridge.
Representatives from the regional district including area F director Ron Mickel and area E director Ramona Faust, the Ministry of Transportation, Nelson Mayor John Dooley and Yellowhead Road and Bridge employees gathered at the trestle to officially open it.
A slide came down in 1996,” said operations manager for the northwest branch of Yellowhead Road and Bridge Troy Grant. “The trestle had basically been out of commission since then.”
In February, crews along with the Ministry of Transportation had come up with a new design to complete the rebuild of the trestle, but another slide in April delayed construction.
This February we had a design in motion to fix this bridge and then in April another small slide came down, not doing any more damage but creating a lot of mud pile and debris for us to clean up under the bridge,” said Grant. “That was put on our plate as well this spring before we could start work on the bridge. That added to the dilemma.”
The trestle is one of a dozen on the trail between Nelson and Salmo.
Prior to the reconstruction of the bridge, users were making their way along a small narrow trail through the brush below the old trestle.
The total budget for the project was between $300,000 to $350,000 and was largely funded by the Ministry of Transportation with contributions from other organizations.
In addition to the construction of the trestle, crews did work under the bridge to help regulate the flow of potential future slides.
We deactivated the old trail and the old culvert that was in the way that used to interrupt the slide and make it spread everywhere,” said Grant. “Now it’s totally free and open and channelized so that if something else comes down of a similar size to what has previously come down it should just shoot down under the bridge and keep going with minor damage and clean-up.”
The trestle is located approximately 10 minutes southeast of Nelson along the Great Northern Trail.