Brunette Fraser Greenway

Sustainability 2003 Award Winner A common-sense idea to turn utility corridors into greenways has proven so successful that the GVRD hopes to make it part of a regional strategy for the Lower Mainland. Greenways are green walks, trails and pathways that connect regional parks and other major Green Zone sites. They give people a way to move through the region in a more natural setting than by busy urban streets. They can also help protect wildlife habitat. The GVRD and its member municipalities have been creating greenways for several years. Talks between the GVRD’s Parks and Utilities departments led to the idea of integrated corridors, meeting the desire for green spaces with the need to find suitable locations for underground sewage and water pipes and overhead construction. Utilities are often buried beneath streets where they lie untouched for many years. Some, such as elevated Skytrain tracks and power cables, are built overhead. By choosing appropriate routes, designs and landscaping, utility corridors can be turned into pleasant greenways for walking, cycling and roller-blading. GVRD staff and external stakeholders met in a series of workshops to work out questions such as conflicting maintenance standards for parks and water and sewer mains, environmental protection, tenure and security. They concluded that they could meet both utility and greenway needs and save money for regional taxpayers. Their first test was the Lake City Interceptor, a 4.8 kilometre sewer line in Burnaby. With the help of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the City of Burnaby, and local environmental groups, the sewer corridor was integrated into the regional greenway. A utility road designed to accommodate cyclists and walkers allows access for both people and utility vehicles. Innovative trenchless technologies such as pipe-bursting were also utilized to minimize impacts on the public and the environment. The second project was in New Westminster where the City, TransLink and the GVRD collaborated to convert an abandoned rail bed into a multi-use corridor. By infilling the shore of the Fraser River, tree-planting and landscaping, the team created a 2.2 hectare riverside park as well as significant new fish habitat with the construction of tidal marshes. Blended into the park are a 1.8m diameter sewer line, elevated Skytrain tracks and a 1.2 kilometre sewer access road along the Fraser River that doubles as a greenway for cycling and in-line skating. With these successful experiences, utility engineers and park planners now want to create a network of paths and trails, making the whole region more sustainable and pleasant.
from: GVRDdocument: Brunette Fraser Greenwayin detailsee also: GVRD Sustainable Region Initiative XlnkS5E7 XlnkC179D

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