Troubled bridge finally over water

Four years after a rockslide dramatically changed the Seymour River the replacement pedestrian bridge at Twin Bridges will open as early as late this month.


What happened


In November 2014 following a severe rainstorm a landslide entered the Seymour River.

“The rockfall was about three-quarters of a kilometer downstream of the original Twin Bridges site,” said Heidi Walsh, director of watersheds and environmental management for Metro Vancouver. “And we had about 50,000 cubic metres of rock come into the river.”

With the debris entering a steep canyon it caused an approximately 800m backup that pools into a pond which drains in the summer but during the winter remains backed up, explains Walsh.

“When the rock fall originally came down the water backed up high enough to go over top of  the bridge,” said Walsh. “We had to take the railings off as an emergency measure and wait for the water to recede. Then we took it out in late January.

“I think everybody understood that it was safety issue. There are provincial standards that require a certain amount of free board [space between the water and bridge] during storm events so the bridge was no longer in compliance with those standards.”

The impact of that 2014 storm also extend to trails, resulting in a number of closures and detours.


Troubled bridge


The project encountered several challenges and delays. The replacement project was designed with three bridges – a replacement pedestrian suspension bridge at Twin Bridges, a new vehicle crossing at Riverside Drive and a temporary bridge to help accomplish the project – along with some trail building. Originally the project was put to tender in 2016 as separate projects.

“The price came back much higher than we anticipated,” said Walsh. “We tried again by packaging the suspension bridge and the vehicle bridge together and again it came back too high – almost double our approved budget.”

She attributes the challenges to poor timing – high project volumes offered to construction firms by the provincial government.

“We asked our board for a little bit more money and decided to package everything together as one big project,” said Walsh. With a successful tendering process completed in January, construction began this spring.


The new bridge


This winter the public will be able to take its first steps over the new pedestrian suspension bridge.

“It’s not a swinging suspension bridge,” said Walsh. “It’s very stable. We designed it so that you could ride over it with your horse – so the railings are high and it’s very solid. It is meant for bikers, hikers and horses so it won’t move when you’re on it.”

The change in river flow had significant impact on the final design, she said. Originally a vehicle bridge was considered for maintenance and emergency access (and completed at Riverside Drive in the final project). The steep slope that approaches Twin Bridges would require the bridge to be raised up resulting in a much longer bridge deck than the previous bridge, said Walsh. The east side’s bedrock also created issues for a landing substantial enough for vehicle traffic resulting in a project that would have been much larger than the previous bridge and more expensive than ever planned, she said.

“The bridge needs to be able to withstand a one in 200 year flow event so you need to be have a certain amount of room under the bridge to allow for water, debris and rocks move underneath,” said Walsh. “So in order to get that standard we had to raise the bridge up.

“It is slightly downstream from the original bridge so we had to build short access ramps to get to it on the west side. We had to put in a short 150m trail spur.  The main concern on the other side is a mountain bike trail called Bottletop. We are very close to where it used to exit onto Fisherman’s Trail so we had to do a little bit of redesign with that exit.”

At this point the bridge is almost complete. Once the temporary bridge is removed and the site cleaned-up Walsh expects the official opening to be between late November and mid-December.

“We are a little behind schedule there because we needed to do some redesign of the anchors on the east side,” she said. “The towers are there now, the bridge approaches are there, the anchors are all in. They really just need to string the cables and put the decking and railings in.”

Images courtesy of Metro Vancouver

Lest we forget – Remembrance Day in LV

The Lynn Valley Legion is back preparing to mark Remembrance Day. This year they are focusing on remembering Canada’s veterans this Nov. 11 with poppy tagging and a ceremony at Lynn Valley’s Veterans’ Plaza followed by an open house. 

This is a busy time for the legion membership, whose core volunteers are diligently donating hours upon hours.

The Lynn Valley community can help at the legion in many ways this time of year. The main fundraiser and awareness campaign is Poppy Tagging – that is handing out poppies to members of the community and collecting donations.

Lynn Valley community members are asked to volunteer by visiting the legion – 1630 Lynn Valley Road – any day until November 11, beginning at 12 noon. Poppy taggers will be given a tray, a short briefing and assigned a location in Lynn Valley. The work is flexible for whatever time the volunteer has. Locals are also encouraged to pick up a poppy tray to take to their workplace.

Lynn Valley’s November 11 will have a full ceremony with a choir, colour party, bugler and speeches. It will take place at Veterans’ Plaza – behind the Archives building between Lynn Valley Elementary and Parent Participation Preschool, 3205 Institute Road at 10:30 am. Arrive early as the space usually fills quickly.

The Legion’s Bar and Food Service will be open immediately afterwards for all at 1630 Lynn Valley Road.

There will also be a ceremony at 10:30 at the Victoria Park Cenotaph off of Lonsdale Ave.

A very good scare

You may have noticed some creepy, eerie sights appearing in Lynn Valley. Over the years a Halloween delight has been building at the corner of Dovercourt and Maginnis Avenue. From fun family tradition to frightful destination the Dovercourt Crypt is celebrating its fifth year by partnering with the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund.


When you love Halloween


Mark Denny grew up in a house where everyone loved Halloween. The annual family display was a highlight of the year that piqued his interest as a teenager.

“He wanted to add to it,” said fellow crypt keeper and girlfriend Liz Naso. “It began with a graveyard and got bigger and scarier over the years. Then a friend suggested we add a walk-through haunted house.”

With the challenge accepted Denny began building on his previous graveyard display adding rooms, surprises, physical and psychological bits of terror, and finally some actors.

This year’s haunted house starts slow and creepy, said Naso, with the experience ramping up as you proceed through the rooms and around the house.

“We have actors to jump out, we have pneumatic air guns and drop panels to scare people,” she said. “Then we have the dreaded claustrophobia tunnel – it’s too much for me, I can’t go in there. We end in the blacklight room, which is still creepy but a cool, relaxing sort of experience with lots to look at – where people can think about what they’ve walked through and ‘survived’ without being scared again. But you never know, we might add a person in there this year.”

There can be as many as eight actors in the haunted house waiting to scare the people who come through – all of them volunteers friends of Denny and Naso or just neighbours who love Halloween.

“We know it’s no fun to know that the scares are coming,” said Naso. “So there’s this point when we hear a particular sound or yell – that lets us know where people are, and that we are ready to send the next people through. Ironically, Mark and I are bad at it – he can design and plan all of this but we just aren’t good at scaring people.”

When it comes down to Halloween they’re just too busy keeping the whole project running smoothly and have chosen to leave the scaring up to those that do it best.


Frightful fun for more people


The countless hours – Denny has taken three weeks off of work this year to get it ready – and dollars it takes for such a huge project is starting to have some long-term payoff, said Naso. Previous donations collected on Halloween have funded a good supply of props and tools, so this year Dovercourt Crypt is both expanding its visiting days and partnering with a local charity.

“We  heard from people in the neighborhood that they would like to take younger kids through,” said Naso. “ So this year we’re opening Monday night [6-9 p.m.] without the full scare. People will be able to walk through without the actors or airguns surprising you. There will probably be a bit more light so kids can look around without being scared.”

The Dovercourt Crypt is also expanding it’s other visiting hours. It is open this Oct. 28 & 29 for scare-free little hauntlings from 4-8 p.m. and on Halloween night from 6:30 to 9 p.m., with fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Nosa recommends a typical night for kids about 12 and up, whereas Monday’s scare-free Hauntling Night is appropriate for younger kids who understand that it’s not real.

Also new this year is the partnership between the Dovercourt Crypt and the BC Professional Firefighters Burn Fund. With Denny’s investment almost in the black, it was time to find a charity to work with.

“We’ve always been collecting donations to help with the huge blow this makes to our wallets and to help feed our volunteers,” said Naso. “Now we’re in a place where we can help a good cause. We spoke with Trevor who runs The Haunt of Edgemont and he suggested we also partner with the Burn Fund. They do such great work. It’s awesome that we get to help them out by doing what we love.”


The details


Dovercourt Crypt3637 Maginnis Avenue, North Vancouver, BC

‘SCARE-FREE’ HAUNTLING NIGHTS:
🎃 Monday October 28, 2019 from 4:00 to 8:30 pm
🎃 Tuesday October 29, 2019 from 4:00 to 8:30 pm

HALLOWEEN:
🎃 Thursday October 31, 2019 – Haunt from 6:30 to 9:00 pm, fireworks show at 9:15 pm (and trick-or-treating all evening!)

For further details please click here.


Photos courtesy of the Dovercourt Crypt


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Meet the candidates: Linda Findlay

We wanted to get to know who in our neighbourhood was stepping up and putting themselves out there to help govern our city. We recognize some of the names and definitely want to get to know those we don’t.

We reached out to all the councillor candidates who live in Lynn Valley and submitted their contact details on the District of North Vancouver website. We passed on four questions we thought would be broad enough to showcase their personality and their positions, but would also focus their attention on Lynn Valley and the issues that matter here. The candidates had the option to respond to the questions they chose and how they wanted. Additional responses can be found here. And don’t forget to VOTE October 20.

We asked the questions:

1) Why do you want to be a District of North Vancouver councillor?
2) Why should the public give you their vote?
3) What issues do you want to focus on?
4) What are your priorities for Lynn Valley? 

Meet Linda Findlay


Thanks to LynnValleyLife for the opportunity to connect with our neighbours and answer some of their questions.  Lynn Valley is a unique community and my family and I have been fortunate to live, work and play here for the past 30 years.

I have always had a keen interest in community service and in local politics and issues.  I consider myself a committed community member looking to bring integrity and honesty to the role of Councillor.  It is important that all issues be approached collaboratively with an earnest intention to find a positive outcome, in the best interest of all. It benefits no one to be adversarial, uncompromising or rude. There is great opportunity, moving forward, to look beyond how things used to be, to scrutinize the changes we are experiencing now and to lay the ground work for a progressive yet sustainable future.

We all know the big issues – housing/density, transportation/traffic, environment, infrastructure and safety. Solving these issues will take a Council that can work together collaboratively in the best interest of all.  These issues cannot be considered individually but rather as a whole. Fostering integrated thinking to develop and implement solutions in the best interest of the entire community is essential. All stakeholders need to be included and recognized. I have no illusions that we will always agree but at least we can agree to be engaged in the process. Nothing is ever black and white, this or that. Workable and sustainable consensus is the goal. We need to work together for the benefit of future generations, not just the here and now.

I have resided on the North since childhood and have lived through many of its changes. Those changes, thought to be outrageous or non-conforming at the time, now seem common place.

Lynn Valley has experienced its fair share of change over the past four years and more has been approved and on the way.  We have to remember that the town centre concept and implementation is a multi-phased process. Yes, there have been bumps and missteps along the way.  Better communication and partnerships between all parties must be far more robust to avoid further oversights. The end game however will provide a vibrant and sustainable community for all to enjoy.  It is also important, moving forward, that we protect our green spaces, expand our walking, trail and bike networks to improve our ability to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. Community gathering spaces, cultural events, housing diversity, integrated transiting options, protecting our streams & waterways, managing eco-tourism, communing with each other all contribute to a dynamic neighbourhood.  I commit to responsible application of OCP objectives so future generations will benefit from the work we do today.

What we are sorely lacking and I will vigorously advocate for is a District-wide Communication Plan. Residents want accessible, coordinated updates of what is happening in the District. It only makes sense to share the status of where, when and what to expect. I commit to always keeping in touch.  An informed public is an engaged public.

Civic elections allow us to vote for those who can truly make a difference in our daily lives.  I am one of those people. I would be honoured to represent you on Council. Please vote October 20th.

Meet the candidates: Robin Hicks

We wanted to get to know who in our neighbourhood was stepping up and putting themselves out there to help govern our city. We recognize some of the names and definitely want to get to know those we don’t.

We reached out to all the councillor candidates who live in Lynn Valley and submitted their contact details on the District of North Vancouver website. We passed on four questions we thought would be broad enough to showcase their personality and their positions, but would also focus their attention on Lynn Valley and the issues that matter here. The candidates had the option to respond to the questions they chose and how they wanted. Additional responses can be found here. And don’t forget to VOTE October 20.


Why do you want to be a District of North Vancouver councillor?


I want to continue my Councillor role as I am passionate about this community, where I have lived for forty years in Lynn Valley raising three daughters and now seven grandchildren all living locally.


Why should the public give you their vote?


I am a CPA/CA with over 40 years’ experience as a financial executive in both the corporate world and local government. I have chaired the District’s Finance and Audit Committee over the last ten years and represented North Vancouver on Metro Vancouver’s Utility and Finance Committees.


What issues do you want to focus on?


My focus will be on affordable housing, particularly purpose built rentals for current and future service and retail workers. Resolving traffic congestion, and improving transit will also be a high priority.


What are your priorities for Lynn Valley?


My priorities for Lynn Valley:

  • Protect our single family neighborhoods
  • Enhance the community recreational and cultural activities
  • Increase transit frequency and improve traffic flow
  • Complete the build out of the town centre.

 

Meet the candidates: Jordan Back

We wanted to get to know who in our neighbourhood was stepping up and putting themselves out there to help govern our city. We recognize some of the names and definitely want to get to know those we don’t.

We reached out to all the councillor candidates who live in Lynn Valley and submitted their contact details on the District of North Vancouver website. We passed on four questions we thought would be broad enough to showcase their personality and their positions, but would also focus their attention on Lynn Valley and the issues that matter here. The candidates had the option to respond to the questions they chose and how they wanted. Additional responses can be found here. And don’t forget to VOTE October 20.


Why do you want to be a District of North Vancouver councillor?


I’ve lived in Lynn Valley for the past 33 years and I think it’s still the best place in the world to live! I have been actively involved here as a resident, in business, and as a volunteer. I would like to be a Councillor, as I think it would be a natural extension of my passion for the community, for listening, and for helping others. I have seen the community change and evolve over the years. In many cases for the better, but I’m not sure it’s always been with the interests of my generation in mind. My vision for the community is to preserve everything we love about it, while ensuring it continues to be livable for all generations. From youth, to growing families, to seniors, it’s important that all voices at every stage of life are heard. I also hope to be the most accessible person on Council, listening to the community at every opportunity.


Why should the public give you their vote?


I think people appreciate the fact that I am running as an independent candidate who is not part of any slate or team. I will provide an independent voice on Council. Furthermore, I am probably the most well rounded candidate on the ballot. My career is in advertising and, while I started my career in community newspapers – at the North Shore News – I have spent the last ten years in media sales with Corus Entertainment (Global BC and CKNW radio). My experience working with the business community is balanced with my passion for the arts – I studied music at UBC and currently sing in Chor Leoni Men’s Choir. I also have strong ties to athletics – I am a runner and triathlete and have completed seven IRONMAN triathlons. Most importantly, I am a strong listener and I have the ability to bring different groups of people together, to work towards common goals.


What issues do you want to focus on?


I’ll tackle the biggest issues facing our community – transportation and housing – and I hope to bring fresh perspective to both of these topics. We cannot solve these challenges at the municipal level, but there is a lot we can do. Working with the District’s largest employers to reduce the number of employee vehicles on the road, making car share programs like Evo and car2go available in our Town Centres, getting more creative in the types of housing we allow, improving customer service levels at the District and making home renovations or upgrades an easier process, working with NVSD to provide much needed before and after school care for children, these are just a few of my ideas. We also must “remove the silos” and work closer with the City of North Vancouver on many fronts and I hope to work with District staff to establish the best framework for this.


What are your priorities for Lynn Valley?


We are living in a construction zone these days, but I am excited to finally see the revitalization of our Town Centre come to life! I was involved with the Lynn Valley Village merchants’ opening over 10 years ago – helping them with their branding and marketing – and I feel the same excitement in seeing the Lynn Valley Centre come to life. I would love to see more events like the summer concert series and Christmas tree decorating in our public spaces happening throughout the year. Other priorities include working closely with organizations like North Shore Mountain Bike Association, and other user groups of our trails, to make sure they are being supported on issues like trail management, as places like Lynn Canyon become more and more popular with visitors to the area. I believe our community has more opportunities than challenges ahead of us, and I hope to hear from many people on the issues important to them!

Meet the candidates: Greg Robins

We wanted to get to know who in our neighbourhood was stepping up and putting themselves out there to help govern our city. We recognize some of the names and definitely want to get to know those we don’t.

We reached out to all the councillor candidates who live in Lynn Valley and submitted their contact details on the District of North Vancouver website. We passed on four questions we thought would be broad enough to showcase their personality and their positions, but would also focus their attention on Lynn Valley and the issues that matter here. The candidates had the option to respond to the questions they chose and how they wanted. Additional responses can be found here. And don’t forget to VOTE October 20.


Why do you want to be a District of North Vancouver councillor?


The reason I want to represent the people of the District is threefold; I believe in a strong community represented by the interests of local residents, I support small businesses owned and operated by those living on the North Shore, and I deeply value our unique natural surroundings and feel they need to be protected and nurtured.


Why should the public give you their vote?


I have a passion for the North Shore and all the residents who call it home. I believe in advocating for the people and standing up for their concerns, needs and demands. I am honest, trustworthy, dedicated, and I’m here to listen and represent for all residents.


What issues do you want to focus on?


Residents I have met have voiced their overwhelming concern the pricing of real estate. The will focus on building rental stock to allow our residents’ children to stay on the North Shore and give others a chance to live here. To address transportation, we have an excellent rolling start with the Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project (INSTPP) which makes realistic and affordable suggestions to bring better transit and ease the pinch-points of traffic.


What are your priorities for Lynn Valley?


As a Lynn Valley resident, my priorities are to revitalize or create more rental stock that’s in character with Lynn Valley, support the proposed changes to coach houses, advocate for more transit throughout the community, and call for safer routes for kids who want to walk or bike to school.

Meet the candidates: Sameer Parekh

We wanted to get to know who in our neighbourhood was stepping up and putting themselves out there to help govern our city. We recognize some of the names and definitely want to get to know those we don’t.

We reached out to all the councillor candidates who live in Lynn Valley and submitted their contact details on the District of North Vancouver website. We passed on four questions we thought would be broad enough to showcase their personality and their positions, but would also focus their attention on Lynn Valley and the issues that matter here. The candidates had the option to respond to the questions they chose and how they wanted. Additional responses can be found here. And don’t forget to VOTE October 20.


Why do you want to be a District of North Vancouver councillor?


As a lifelong resident, who’s lived in four different neighbourhoods in the District; it is home. It’s time that the DNV finds solutions to the challenges of housing, transportation and much more. People here are frustrated with the career politicians that have been in council for over a decade and want to see their Councillors offer solutions. I’m ready to offer the residents of the DNV my expertise, energy and dedication as their Councillor to move forward.  I expect to be held to account by my community and to deliver results that are long overdue.


Why should the public give you their vote?


I am a dedicated to my community and the environment and volunteer my time to improve them both.  I helped run my family business here in Lynn Valley and currently work for a membership-based organization. I earned my Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Transportation & Logistics and Information Systems at UBC’s Sauder School of Business. After working for five years, I returned to school and earned my Master’s in Business Administration from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. This well rounded experience has built strong collaboration skills to work with others with diverse perspectives will help to get things done.


What issues do you want to focus on?


When knocking on doors and speaking to fellow residents in Lynn Valley, the main issues we face are transportation, housing and building better communities.

All three of these issues impact each other.

Having the option for more people to live where they work with more affordable housing, builds better communities. People can then spend more time being with family and friends.  Being able to live where you work reduces traffic by allowing people to commute in a different way, spend time in our great neighbourhood and be active, while contributing to local businesses and lessen our impact to the environment.  North Vancouver has added more jobs than working aged residents; this directly adds to the congestion we face because people are commuting here!

This is one example of how these issues are connected, and one of the solutions I am going to bring forward as a member of Council for the DNV.


What are your priorities for Lynn Valley?


My priorities for our community are to:

  • Build affordable housing for families, seniors and people working here by looking to fast track rental housing permits, including basement suites
  • Accelerate the Lynn Valley B-Line bus expansion to downtown (via Lonsdale) to help ease congestion and give residents another commuting option
  • Optimize roads for better traffic flow and to provide safer routes to schools and amenities for people to walk, bike and roll.