Trestle Trail Bridge undergoing final phase of repairs

by Kevin McBain

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Work has begun on the second phase of restorations of the Trestle Trail Bridge in Liverpool.

The $1 million restoration project's second phase began in June, but it was halted in August due to a delay in getting pressure-treated lumber for a new deck and railings.

The material has arrived and it's anticipated that work will continue to the end of the month.

The well-used, 1.25 km Trestle Trail, a former section of rail line, takes walkers along the Mersey River and through the town of Liverpool.

One of the key components of the trail is the Trestle Trail Bridge that has been undergoing repairs over the past two years.

"It's all good news from us," said Brian Hatt, president of the Queens Rails to Trails Association, the group responsible for moving the project ahead. "Everyone's excited to get this done, and we will be even happier once we get to use it again."

Hatt said there will be some minor work to be completed following this, such as signage, gravel work, and some control barriers.

Last year, the Queens Rails to Trails Association hosted a grand opening of the bridge in September, after essential work had been completed in Phase One. Following a month's break, more work was completed.

The bridge had been closed to the public since 2014, after an engineering study deemed it to be unfit for use.

Restorations of the bridge have allowed it to be considered as multi-usage by the public. A variety of means of transportation - from walking, bicycling, and four-wheeling - can be utilized on the bridge.

Funding for the repairs was made possible through the financial support of the J&W Murphy Foundation; the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, and the Region of Queens Municipality.

The project was expected to take three years to complete, however Hatt said the contractor, J. Mason Contractors Ltd. of Fall River, has worked quickly and the funding partners have been generous, enabling the work to be done in two years.

"We are really fortunate we got the company we did and had the financial support from our partners," said Hatt. "The company we ended up with through the tender process worked faster and was within budget. Everything went so well, we were able to finish it in two versus three years," said HATT.

Currently owned by the Region of Queens Municipality, the bridge will also play an integral part in the Queens Trails to Rails Association's next project, which will see the group provide a link through Queens, connecting the counties of Shelburne and Lunenburg.

At one point, CN Rail owned the Trestle Trail Bridge. In 1996 the structure was turned over to the municipality. In 1999, the municipality transformed the bridge into a walking bridge connecting a trail from one side of Liverpool to the other.

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