Engineering staff with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development have determined that an old trestle on the Kettle Valley Rail Trail north of Tulameen is structurally unsound and no longer safe to use.
The trail is now closed to the public and will be removed. Public safety was the top priority in making this decision.
The KV-061 trestle is located about seven kilometres north of Tulameen and is part of The Great Trail (formerly known as the Trans-Canada Trail). Inspections completed by an independent engineering firm identified structural issues with the trestle (bridge), including broken and decaying support structures. It is not safe for anyone to use the bridge in its deteriorated state, including off-road vehicle operators, hikers and cyclists.
Signs will be posted to direct hikers and cyclists to an eight-kilometre detour that will allow them to bypass the closed trestle and enjoy the rest of the route. Since the detour runs alongside a road, all-terrain vehicles will have to access the trail from the community of Tulameen, or off Coalmont Road near Frembd Lake.
Ministry engineering staff are evaluating all available options to replace the trestle with a new bridge, but it is unlikely that a replacement would be completed before next year. The ministry assessed options for making a temporary repair to the trestle and determined that it was not feasible.
Recreation Sites and Trails BC staff have notified recreational user groups and the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen about the closure and will be posting signs to help trail users stay safe.