As part of the NCC’s project to restore the Mud Lake conservation area, which was severely affected by floods in 2017 and 2019, the pedestrian bridge and trails in the area are being replaced. The new Mud Lake pedestrian bridge will be installed in March 2024 by crane.
This method of installation was selected to project trees during installation, keep project costs in line, and minimize potential delays associated with warm weather. The measures have been reviewed and supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Project Timeline – Upcoming milestones for the project include:
- Week of November 13: vegetation cutting to create temporary access point for construction equipment
- Week of November 20: access to Mud Lake trails reopens
- March 2024: bridge installation by crane
- June 2024: tree compensation
Please note that this timeline is still approximate and that parts of the project depend on favourable weather conditions.
What to expect:
•Intermittent detours and closures along the multi-use pathway in fall 2023 and winter 2024
•Large cranes accessing the site via the multi-use pathway
•Limited vegetation cutting to permit site access by crane, which will open up a temporary viewpoint to the shoreline; trees will be compensated at a 10:1 ratio in June 2024
•Temporary storage of the bridge components in Lincoln Heights Park
Pathway and site access
The multi-use pathway alongside Lincoln Heights Park between Pinecrest Creek Pathway and Britannia Road will be subject to intermittent closures from November 13 to December 22 to allow construction equipment on the site. The NCC is working with the Britannia Winter Trail Association to discuss how it could potentially alter the cross-country ski route along the pathway.
Cranes will access the Mud Lake site using a temporary, unofficial access point along the pathway. Access is strictly limited to construction crew members and vehicles. The access point will be permanently closed and natural conditions restored once the work is complete.
The NCC urges the public to exercise caution, respect working crews and equipment, and obey signage at the site.
Vegetation removal and compensation
In recent years, Mud Lake has seen the proliferation of buckthorn, an invasive species. Common buckthorn (rhamnus cathartica) is a non-native species that causes damage to plants and animals that are native to the Mud Lake habitat. It spreads rapidly, releasing chemicals through its roots and has leaves that inhibit the growth and development of native plants (including the sugar maple). It can affect animal species’ reproductive cycle, including that of salamanders and frogs.
The NCC has carefully selected a path for the installation of the new Mud Lake bridge that will maximize removal of invasive buckthorn shrubs while minimizing the loss of mature native trees. Nonetheless, seven native trees will need to be cut to allow for site access by construction crews. The project team is tracking the vegetation removed for the project and will compensate for it with native species at a 10:1 ratio.
The site will be restored to its natural conditions in summer 2024, with sensitivity to native plants and species. Intact logs will be left behind to act as frog and salamander habitats and to provide shelter and nesting habitats for wildlife species that live in the riparian habitat around Mud Lake.
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