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Port Celebrates Rushbrook Trail Grand Opening

Jul 30, 2018

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One of Prince Rupert’s legacy waterfront walkways was reopened on July 14th, the result of a $1.1 million rehabilitation project enabled through the Port of Prince Rupert’s Community Investment Fund.

The Rotary Club of Prince Rupert, the Port of Prince Rupert, and other corporate contributors celebrated the completion of the Rushbrook Trail Revitalization project at a ribbon-cutting ceremony that saw hundreds of enthusiastic residents rediscover the northeast section of the Prince Rupert harbour.

“Improving recreational waterfront access is a community priority, and we’re pleased to demonstrate our commitment with our single largest community project contribution to date,” said Shaun Stevenson, incoming President & CEO of the Port of Prince Rupert. “The reopening of this iconic piece of Prince Rupert is an initiative that the Port has supported in a variety of ways for a number of years. Everyone in our organization is proud to have helped Rotary make the Rushbrook Trail accessible again for all to enjoy.”

The 1.2-kilometre walkway runs adjacent to the north end of Prince Rupert’s inner harbour, linking the Rushbrook Floats to Seal Cove and providing unique waterfront access for the coastal community. The $835,000 financial commitment by the Port of Prince Rupert to the Rushbrook Trail Revitalization is its single largest investment in any community project to date. The remainder of the funding came from CN ($150,000), the Rotary Club of Prince Rupert ($75,000), and Pinnacle Renewable Energy ($50,000). The City of Prince Rupert has leased the trail to the Kaien Island Trail Enhancement and Recreation Society (Kaien Trails), which will be responsible for the trail’s ongoing maintenance.

“CN would like to thank the Port of Prince Rupert, the Rotary Club and all our partners in this project for their dedication and commitment to seeing Rushbrook Trail come to fruition," said Joslyn Young, Manager of Public Affairs, British Columbia Region for CN. "We appreciate the opportunity to have worked so closely with a great team of people throughout the planning phase and are excited to know that the trail will bring enjoyment to the community for years to come.”

“At Pinnacle, we are proud of our association with the people of Prince Rupert and we are determined to be respectful neighbors, good employers and ambassadors of health and safety, both at work and at home,” said Vaughan Bassett, Senior VP of Sales and Logistics of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. “Co-funding this trail has enabled us to deliver on these values.”

Rushbrook Trail was constructed by the City of Prince Rupert in 1985, following the closure of the CN Rail line to Seal Cove. The trail was closed in 2003 due to safety issues posed by rock and debris slides, prompting the Rotary Club to begin fundraising efforts to secure the site and reopen it to the public.

“It’s been more than a decade since we formed the Rushbrook Trail Committee and began working towards this momentous occasion,” said Bill Nicholls, member of the Rotary Club of Prince Rupert. “This trail is such a vital asset to our community, and I think the sense of excitement among Rotarians is one we’ll be sharing with many others in Prince Rupert as we walk this section of waterfront for the first of many times.”

In 2013, the Port of Prince Rupert contributed $15,000 through its Community Investment Fund to the Rotary Club to finance McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd.’s work to update the project plans. Over the past 12 months, Bear Creek Contracting has been on site relocating the trail away from the hillside using the existing trail bed with concrete barriers as a catchment area, thus addressing the safety concerns which saw the trail closed in 2003. As part of the construction, Progressive Steel was sub contracted to fabricate three bridges that extend the trail out over the harbour to avoid sections with potential for rock and debris slides. Ongoing maintenance of the trail will be performed by Kaien Trails to ensure the trail can operate year-round for years to come.

“This day has been a long time coming, and we recognize the years of work, volunteer efforts, and significant financial contributions of all the organizations that have been involved to bring this project to completion,” said Sean Carlson, President of Kaien Trails. “It’s incredibly rewarding for our society to be involved in bringing Rushbrook Trail back to a state where it can be enjoyed as a premier recreational activity for residents and visitors alike.”

The re-opening of the Rushbrook Trail is the latest waterfront improvement project to be completed with funding contributions from the Port of Prince Rupert, which include the Atlin Terminal, Northland Cruise Terminal, the Millennium Walkway, the Cow Bay Marina and the Atlin Promenade.

“We know that the redevelopment of Rushbrook Trail has been a priority for the project coordinators, especially the Prince Rupert Rotary Club, for many years,” said Lee Brain, Mayor of the City of Prince Rupert. “The new trail is proof of what is possible when community leaders and local partners and funders come together behind a project. We are so proud to support the work of Rotary, Kaien Trails, the Port and the many other important contributors, and see this beautiful new amenity come to fruition for our community.”