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Burnaby approves $3.7M footbridge at Deer Lake Trail

Pedestrians will be able to cross over Deer Lake Brook along the trail instead of on the street.

A new pedestrian bridge is coming to Burnaby's beloved Deer Lake Park to connect part of the lakeside trail.

Council unanimously approved the concept design for the $3.7-million footbridge at its meeting March 11.

The bridge will cross Deer Lake Brook, which currently separates Deer Lake Trail, meaning visitors have to leave the path and walk on the sidewalk along Deer Lake Avenue.

Staff said the bridge will connect the two sides of the brook and ensure a “seamless transition” with the existing trail.

“The bridge will be simple, without compromising, imposing or competing with the natural beauty of the park,” project manager Isabel Londono told council March 11.

Mayor Mike Hurley complimented the safety aspect of the bridge, noting the Deer Lake Avenue gets “very narrow.”

“People are forced to walk on the street, and it becomes quite dangerous at times,” he said.

Deer Lake Avenue trailhead where visitors must leave the trail and walk along the road. By Lauren Vanderdeen / Burnaby Now
A map of the proposed Deer Lake pedestrian bridge in Burnaby. By Morrison Hershfield/City of Burnaby

Londono acknowledged the sensitivity of the Deer Lake site and noted the city will get provincial and federal environmental permits and consult with First Nations before beginning construction.

She said while there isn’t an estimate of how many trees would be removed at this point, staff expect “a very minimal number of trees affected.”

She also said the bridge will be a clear span, with piles on land and not the brook.

“That is specifically going to be one of the requirements, that we don’t disturb the creek,” Londono said.

The bridge is expected to take “at least 12 to 24 months to complete,” subject to getting the permits, according to the staff report

Deer Lake Brook in Burnaby, where the city plans to build a pedestrian bridge. By Lauren Vanderdeen / Burnaby Now


Burnaby staff are proposing a pedestrian bridge to link up the trail at Deer Lake Park (rendering is not the final design). By Morrison Hershfield/City of Burnaby

The project is designed as a 36.4-metre-long truss bridge over the brook with a three-metre-wide deck, according to the report. 

A 100-m boardwalk to the east and 35-m boardwalk to the west would connect the trail banks.

The bridge is planned with a 75-year lifespan and will have “minimal” annual maintenance costs.

Deer Lake Park attracts more than 600,000 visitors annually.