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This popular Port Moody trail is closed indefinitely because of damage from this week's king tide

A king tide occurs when the Earth is closest to the sun and moon, resulting in their greatest gravitational pull on ocean waters
Visitors to Port Moody's Rocky Point Park check out Thursday's high tide that raised water levels in Burrard Inlet and closed part of the Shoreline Trail at Pigeon Cove.

A section of a popular walking trail in Port Moody is closed indefinitely after it was damaged by this week’s king tide.

Julie Pavey-Tomlinson, the city’s director of environment and parks, said the elevated wooden bridge on the part of Shoreline Trail that cuts across the mudflats at Pigeon Cove was moved off its abutments by the exceptionally high water in Burrard Inlet from Tuesday to Thursday.

The phenomenon — known as a king tide — occurs once or twice a year when the Earth is closest to the sun and moon resulting in their greatest gravitational pull on ocean waters. According to Environment Canada, this year’s king tide peaked at 5.754 metres on Dec. 27.

Pavey-Tomlinson said once the high water had receded, city staff assessed the bridge and determined it wasn’t safe for passage.

“As a matter of public safety, the bridge and the sections of the trail that lead to the bridge were closed and will remain closed indefinitely,” she said.

Pavey-Tomlinson said engineers will need to do a full inspection of the walkway to determine next steps. But that’s not likely to occur until next week.

“Until we have more information, we unfortunately won’t be able to provide a timeline for repairs,” she added.

In the meantime, walkers on the Shoreline Trail can continue their journey on the paved section along Murray Street and the gravel path next to the rail line behind city hall and Trasolini Field.

Pavey-Tomlinson said the city isn’t aware of any other damage caused by the king tide that attracted plenty of curious onlookers to Rocky Point Park as the waters of Burrard Inlet swallowed access ramps down to the shore and lapped just beneath the top of the pier.

“Staff will be monitoring our parks and trails as winter conditions continue.”