Dehcho
Environment

Floating bridge helps Fort Simpson residents walk on water


Nature lovers have a new addition to their hiking options with the completion of the floating bridge across the snye in Fort Simpson.

The bridge was built in conjunction with the two-year Great Trail of Canada project, said mayor Sean Whelly. Funding came from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, which is backed by the federal and territorial governments.

“We received some federal money … and we put in some of our own,” Whelly said. “We were working on the trail last year and then, this year, we got this bridge done which connects to the ski hill across the snye.”

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A lookout will be built at the top of the ski hill. The village is awaiting proposals from contractors for that work, said Whelly, which will complete a loop around the island.

A spokesperson for Trans Canada Trail (TCT) said it has been working with the village on a variety of signs for its trail system.

“TCT is currently working with the village of Fort Simpson on interpretative, trailhead, and The Great Trail wayfinder signage,” the spokesperson said.

“Wayfinders have been installed. Interpretative and trailhead signage is to be completed in the fall of 2021. TCT is supporting the signage project by providing $10,000 in funding.”

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Whelly said a road was constructed by the village to provide better access to trails at the island’s territorial park.

Kevin Corrigan, assistant senior administrator for the village, said the bridge is a modular floating system supplied by Candock, a company based in Sherbrooke, QC.

Corrigan said the bridge spans around 500 feet (152 metres) across the water and took a crew of three to assemble and string out to each side. It will come out of the water as winter approaches, once temperatures become cold enough for ice to form.

Whelly said there has already been plenty of use on the bridge, which he believes showcases one of Fort Simpson’s most beautiful views.

“It is really a pretty area,” he said. “There are birds in there and I heard people were even fishing there.”

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