After 14 years, Prince Rupert residents will be soon be able to fully enjoy one of its public waterfront walkways once again.
The Rotary Club of Prince Rupert, in partnership with the Port of Prince Rupert, CN, Pinnacle Renewable Energy Group and the Kaien Island Trail Enhancement and Recreation Society announced the Rushbrook Trail Revitalization project on July 25.
“I think the community will love the access to the new waterfront,” said Karen Basso, president of the Prince Rupert Rotary Club. “The trail is going to be dry and exciting to walk along, and we’ll finally have somewhere exciting to walk along in the early afternoon or the evenings and I think Prince Rupert really needs this.”
Approximately 50 people, including members of the Rotary Club, representatives from the port, the trail society and other community stakeholders attended the announcement, which took place at the trail’s head in Seal Cove.
The $1.1 million project will reopen access to the trail that was closed in 2003 due to liability concerns posed by rock and debris slides which had obstructed sections of the path. The trail is the first phase in the Kaien Island loop trail network that will be connected throughout the entire island.
Work to the 1.2 kilometre trail, which runs adjacent to the north end of Prince Rupert’s inner harbour, will include being relocated away from the hillside, stablizing the more unstable areas of the rock bluffs, improving the quality of the walkway and the construction of three new bridges, which will provide beautiful views and a new perspective of the area’s landscape.
In his speech announcing the project, rotary treasurer Bill Nicholls highlighted contributions made by the Port of Prince Rupert, CN and Pinnacle Renewable Energy Group as key to the viability of the project. Pinnacle Renewable Energy Group gave $50,000 to the effort, CN contributed $150,000 and the Port of Prince Rupert gave $835,000 — which is its single largest investment in any community project to date.
“It really put this project a good step forward towards completion, and the reality that we see today with this ceremony,” Nicholls said.
Port of Prince Rupert’s contribution came from its community investment fund. Port president and CEO Don Krusel said its intention was to share the growth and propersity of a growing port with the community, and invest in long-term projects that improve the quality of life of people who live in Prince Rupert.
“We kept on hearing over and over again that the public and members of this community really wanted to have more recreational access to the waterfront,” he said. “So when the opportunity arose for us to invest in the Rushbrook Trail, it was just an ideal thing for the community investment fund.”
Work on the trail will begin in the next few weeks and is expected to be completed in three months.