Winter weather is not stopping a major reconstruction project on the Salt Marsh Trail.
It is important to protect the trails from the ravages of hurricanes and from the danger of rising sea levels, said Charley Sharkey, vice chair and
capital work supervisor of the Cole Harbour Parks and Trails Association.
"So that is what we are doing now. Specifically, the project for this year is the reconstruction of the SMT between the Bald Eagle and Canada Goose bridges."
Both sides of the trail in that area are being reconstructed.
If the work is not done the trail could be lost, said Sharkey.
"Storms and tidal action would wash away sections of the trail. The reconstruction is absolutely necessary to maintain the integrity of the trail for future use."
Construction is now happening because the funding only became available about six weeks ago.
Sharkey said this year's budget is approximately $92,000 with contributions from Trans Canada Trails, HRM, the Province of Nova Scotia and
Cole Harbour Parks and Trails Association.
The work between the bridges is being done in four phases and will be complete by March 15.
The first phase was the placement of large armour stones at the outer edge of the trail to form a base. Next there were 4 - 6" rocks placed from this armoured stone base to the top of the trail.The last rock application is when the medium stones are placed from the base, over the other rocks and to the trail edge to reach the desired height.
The trail surface height is very uneven and the desired height is determined from a fixed point on the bridges to ensure the height of reconstruction is uniform, said Sharkey.
"Finally, the trail surface is repaired as the heavy machines and trucks cause some damage during the reconstruction."
The end result is protection from water or ice erosion.
The Cole Harbour Parks and Trails Association's next project is to study the possibility of upgrading a trail in Forest Hills to conform to Trans
Canada Trail standards.
"If approved, this trail would begin on Cole Harbour Road and end at the intersection of the Forest Hills Parkway and Main Street," said Sharkey.
He said the CHPTA is now requesting funding from various sources for the next fiscal year for the Bissett Trail, Phase 3 and the continued reconstruction of the Salt Marsh Trail.
"And HRM and the CHPTA will have a formal opening of the recently completed Phase 2 of the Bissett Trail on April 20."
For more information on the Cole Harbour Parks and Trails Association go to www.chpta.org/