Spirit Trail is a 35 km greenway trail that runs from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove. In 2015, the City of North Vancouver retained Binnie to provide public engagement services, conceptual and detailed designs, and construction services for the Spirit Trail – Heywood Street to Sunrise Park project. Phase 1 is approximately 6 km long and connects the Capilano River Bridge with Ambleside Park behind Park Royal Shopping Centre. It begins at the west end of the existing Capilano River Bridge and follows the existing road down the bridge ramp, through the improved paved parking lot, and continues west along the back of the road behind Park Royal Mall. It then follows the existing Capilano River Trail to the crossing underneath the existing Canadian National Railway Bridge at the Capilano River seawall. Phase 1 carries on west on the south side of the CN railway and along the Ambleside Park Road to Pound Road.
The 4 m wide, multi-use pathway was paved and lit to current Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Standards for pedestrians, cyclists, in-line skating, and skateboarding. The trail has gravel shoulders, landscaping, signage, and LED pedestrian lighting on the north side. A split rail cedar fence has been built alongside the trail to assist with keeping dogs and people on the trail and maintaining natural spaces, thereby respecting Squamish Nation Lands. Pedestrian/cyclist marking symbols on the asphalt remind users that the pathway is to be shared. Binnie prepared a field survey and engineering design for two separate segments of the proposed Phase 1 routing.
Trail structures, such as retaining walls, fences, and ramps along the Spirit Trail, were implemented to reflect the park-like setting of the trail. These features were chosen based on sustainability, feasibility, and to minimize any impact on the adjacent natural environment. In addition, the latest technology in energy and lighting efficiency were reviewed and employed, including LED lighting fixtures.
The design approach taken for the Spirit Trail integrates sustainable practices and products into the project, supporting the District of West Vancouver’s objective to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce waste, and minimize resources consumption. The result is the mitigation of any negative impact on the environment and community. Best management practices included on-site infiltration and bioswales to maximize stormwater recharging and to filter out pollutants.
The design phase took place from 2016–2018 while the construction occurred in 2018.
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