Walkway and handrails next for Columbia River Skywalk

Bridge construction remains on time and within budget, walkway and handrails are next up on the installation list.

The wooden handrail/walkway is only temporary

The wooden handrail/walkway is only temporary

Quite soon the Columbia River Skywalk will look like the steel marvel it was designed to be.

The wooden handrail/walkway will come down later this week, or early next, as Westcana electricians finish wiring in pedestrian lighting in total, 15 lamp standards, each 13-feet high and fitted with LED luminaries.

“What they (Westcana Electric Inc.) had to do was string several conduits along the beams of the bridge, and one conduit for future decorative lighting,” city engineer Warren Proulx told the Trail Times. “The only way they could put those in was to construct the walkway (wood).

“They are probably going to be finished this week and I think you will see the handrail all on that one side, pulled off by the end of the week.”

As the project nears its mid-November timeline for substantial completion, the remaining work is likened to a puzzle, each piece of decking and handrail has a specific place.

The composite decking planks and galvanized steel handrail were delivered to Trail this week. Proulx says all the materials needed to finish the bridge are on site now it’s a matter of installing them into place once the utility work is complete.

“They put the water line on the bridge and are pressure testing and chlorinating it to be potable water system,” said Proulx. “They are doing that testing this week and right now they are installing the sewer line so all the conduits that are required to be below the deck will be completed in the next week,” he added. “That’s why sometime next week, they can start putting the decking on and the handrail will fall in quickly behind now it’s like a puzzle to put the pieces where they belong.”

Deck and handrails for the Skywalk

One of the final stages is to remove the Hi-Line then install and paint the tower caps.

Finally, a grading plan is currently underway that will begin with a no-frills north and south approach. A phased-in design scheme for a bolder landscape, bollards, benches and other amenities will be considered during annual capital budget discussions.

“Where we are at right now, is we expect to hear back from staff at the next council meeting (Oct. 11),” said Trail Mayor Mike Martin. “On the details of the layout based on previous discussions we had, based on some alternative options moving forward .”

Before winter sets in, council is aiming to have functional entrances/exits in place to tie in with the existing sidewalks.

Trail Mayor Mike Martin

“In the long term, we envision grander landscape and lighting,” added Martin. “But for the immediate future, (we need) to make sure we have safe egress and sufficient lighting, so we have an effective walkway on and off the bridge.”