The Trans Mountain Trail on Burnaby Mountain is a popular community asset. The trail runs parallel to Shellmont Street on Trans Mountain property south of our Burnaby Terminal. A welcoming and tranquil strip of greenway, it’s well-used and valued by walkers, joggers and cyclists.

As part of our ongoing stewardship of the trail, Trans Mountain was to conduct hazard mitigation works to restore the historical flow capacity for Eagle Creek Tributary No. 3 where it flows immediately alongside the trail. Heavy rainfall on November 3, 2018 immediately prior to these scheduled works resulted in high flows that caused the stream to breach its banks and scour the trail.

Trail repairs were included with the hazard mitigation works to restore safe conditions for the public. These works were completed in mid-November and required the removal of eight danger trees that had previously been assessed by a certified arborist and permitted by the City of Burnaby.

Instream works were limited to the removal of a fallen cedar tree log crossing the creek and accumulated debris immediately upstream of the log. This material was obstructing stream flows leading to flooding and scouring along the adjacent section of trail. Removal was necessary to prevent flooding and sedimentation over the 2018-19 fall/winter seasons.

When completing these works, crews took steps to minimize their working footprint to the extent practicable. Measures were taken to prevent soil disturbance to minimize the risk of erosion and sedimentation. During danger tree removal, smaller branches from felled trees were chipped into a truck and moved off-site, while larger branches and main stems were placed along the stream as coarse woody debris to enhance riparian habitat.   

Trans Mountain retained a local environmental consulting firm to provide full-time monitoring to ensure the works were completed in strict adherence to Trans Mountain’s Environmental Management Plan, a British Columbia Water Sustainability Act Section 11 authorization and all required regulations and best practices.

A long-time streamkeeper and neighbour of the Burnaby Terminal expressed appreciation for Trans Mountain’s trail restoration work and riparian habitat enhancements. Regularly used by the local community,  the neighbours noticed and appreciated the trail repairs.

Subsequently, during a heavy rainfall event in late November, parts of the trail were again washed out — this time as the result of an obstructed culvert. A segment of the trail was temporarily closed to ensure public safety. The scouring on the trail spanned about 30 lineal metres between two trail bridges and in some spots was as deep as 30 centimetres. Trans Mountain followed up with a second round of trail repair works in early December. 

As part of Trans Mountain’s ongoing commitment to the trail, we will return in summer 2019 to finish the remainder of instream works. The works will be scheduled during seasonal low-flow/dry conditions and conducted following standards and best practices for instream works. These works are necessary to restore the historical flow capacity of the stream — a preventative measure reducing potential for breach and scour of the trail in the future.