$3.7M in upgrades to the Deer Lake Trail Loop

The project will include a pedestrian bridge and additional pathways to connect all sides of the trail

If you are one of about 600,000 people who visit Deer Lake Park and walk around the lake every year, you will be happy to know that council has approved a $3.7-million pedestrian bridge and paths to connect the different sections of the trail around the lake. This will ensure pedestrians will have an uninterrupted walk all the way around one of Burnaby’s most beautiful lakes. 

At council’s Mar. 11 meeting, Isabel Londono, project manager for parks, recreation, and culture with the city, presented the conceptual design and sought council approval. According to Londono, the current Deer Lake Trail Loop does not have a continuous route along the water’s edge, with the northeastern section disconnected from the rest of the trail. Currently, pedestrians must exit the trail and walk along the lake avenue to cross the deer lake brook, putting them at risk of accidents. It is also inaccessible to wheelchair users. 

Rendering of the planned Deer Lake pedestrian bridge. Photo: City of Burnaby

Londono added that the construction estimate of $3.7 million includes pedestrian bridge works and pedestrian pathways connecting the two sides of the creek and the existing trail. The trail upgrades will all be fully wheelchair accessible. 

According to a report submitted to council, the new pedestrian bridge will be three metres wide and 36.4 metres long. The design will use composite materials to make the bridge durable and withstand weather conditions. It is expected to have a 75-year lifespan with minimal annual maintenance costs. The project will take 12-24 months to complete. 

Coun. Maita Santiago supported the project, saying that the Deer Lake Trail Loop is her favourite trail to walk with her family. 

“Recently, on Family Day, the trail was really well-used, and there were a lot of folks on it. I did notice that as we went out onto that street part, it got narrow. Some folks had to go onto the roadway a bit or cross the street at points. So, I think it would add to the safety of the trail to have this built,” Santiago said. 

Mayor Mike Hurley also expressed approval for the project, highlighting the safety aspect of the new bridge. 

“I think it brings the safety element of not having to go back onto the street, where it’s very narrow and gets very busy there, where people are forced to walk on the street, and it becomes quite dangerous at times,” Hurley said. 

According to the report, the city will engage with First Nations communities about the project and will provide regular updates to the broader community through the project webpage

This piece was made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.

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