The southern extension of the Coquitlam Crunch will be ready for climbing by the end of 2022, according to a report that went before Monday’s committee-in-council (Oct. 25).
The $3.1 million continuance of the highly popular trail, which sees 50,000 visitors during peak months along the existing northern section, is set to run from a bottom trailhead off Dewdney Trunk Road to the parking lot at Dr. Charles Best Secondary.
A second parking lot is expected to be built at Dewdney Trunk Road and Pier Drive.
In January or February, city staff will go out for another round of public consultation before the final report and budget goes to council for consideration in the spring; the feedback will follow an online survey earlier this year that resulted in 1,500 responses.
Last October, council deferred the second phase of the trail (for viewing decks and exercise gear) to move ahead with Phase 3 to take pressure off the existing Crunch. Its parking lot on Lansdowne Drive was also paved and signs went up to direct traffic.
For the new southern route, the city hired a consultant to look at the terrain, riparian areas, trees and wildlife, as well as the utilities and potential Indigenous heritage sites.
“Due to recently identified archaeological sites in the vicinity, an Archaeological Overview Assessment was completed to explore the possibility of heritage sites within the project area that may require further investigation,” wrote Lanny Englund, Coquitlam’s general manager of parks, recreation, culture and facilities, in his report to the committee. “The findings show a low potential for undetected archaeological sites and confirms that no further archaeological Investigations are recommended.”
Englund told the committee that the consultants are now focusing on the city-owned lot — along the south side of Dewdney (3101 Pier Dr.) — for the 30 parking stalls.
In addition, the city’s engineering and public works staff are working on road upgrades along Dewdney to include a three-metre wide multi-use path on the south side, he said. The Dewdney parking lot will have two washrooms and storage racks for bike riders.
“The parking lot will be at a considerably lower elevation from the Pier Drive residences and screened by tree plantings on top of a retaining wall,” Englund’s report reads.
Coun. Dennis Marsden said the latest design for the parking lot shows it further away from the Pier Drive homes: “This layout is less impactful to the people in the area.”
Englund also told the committee that city staff are continuing talks with area residents.
“I think we need to be pretty frank about the impact,” Coun. Chris Wilson said, noting Crunch hikers will be on the trail early. “We’re walking in somebody’s backyard.”
If OK’d by council next spring, construction on the southern Crunch extension will begin next August, with a completion date set for December 2022, Englund’s report states.