Honoring the Best of Consulting Engineering since 1989.

2023 Award of Excellence

Spirit Trail over Lynn Creek

Owner: District of North Vancouver  |  District of North Vancouver, BC


About the Project

The new Spirit Trail crossing over Lynn Creek is a multi-use bridge in North Vancouver, that completes a key active transportation connection along the Spirit Trail. Mott MacDonald was retained by the project Owner, the District of North Vancouver (DNV), as prime consultant to execute design engineering and construction support services for the project.

As prime consultant, Mott MacDonald led a multi-disciplinary team of professionals comprised of structural, civil, electrical, and geotechnical engineers, along with landscape architecture. Project scope included: upgrades to current Spirit Trail network through placing widened asphalt pathway with lighting; new pedestrian bridge connecting Bridgman Park and Seylynn Park; and creation of Hunter St. Plaza to integrate with new developments existing infrastructure in the vicinity.
Mott MacDonald’s Bridges and Civil Structures Team led the design of the bridge and its widened pathway, asphalt pavement, landscape architecture, and lighting. The active travel bridge design includes weathering steel tied arches to fit in with surrounding forest, creek, and natural environment. In consideration of environmental requirements, bridge lighting provides safety for users while not disturbing salmon spawning.

This bridge is 52m long and 4m wide and accommodates travellers of all ages and abilities. It gives people an active transportation connection to urban amenities such as the Lynn Creek and Park & Tilford Town Centres, which facilitates commuter travel, daily errands/shopping, and recreation/exercise. Users now have a car-free way to pass between North Vancouver and its surrounding municipalities quickly and safely.
This section of the Spirit Trail was built in collaboration with the DNV, First Nations, and several North Shore municipalities, as well as the provincial and federal governments. The separated existing Spirit trails are now unified with this new bridge and trail connections.


The District of North Vancouver required a solution whereby the connecting trail upgrades were cost effective, durable for long lifespan, aesthetic, and have minimal impact to the creek and the surrounding environment. These objectives were met through materials and design considerations, including innovative features to encompass environmental requirements and enhance overall user experience including:
No disruption to spawning cycles for natural habitat: LED strips hidden underneath the curb lip were used to focus illumination to the bridge deck while eliminating light pollution to the creek below.
User experience is a “one with nature” feeling: Railings use built-up steel sections with cables pulled through posts for a minimalistic appearance, reducing users’ feeling of containment while maximizing water views.

Accessibility and safety for all users: Overall project design is focused on accessible trails for people of all ages and abilities. The bridge’s west approach descends and splits into two curves through the open areas on the northwest side, merging into mainline trail. The curved approaches provide accessible grades (4-5%) and allows for pathways to meet at 60- to 90-degree angles at junctions, improving visibility between trail and bridge users.

Future planning for DNV: A pedestrian and cycle visual counter has been installed on the Hunter St. Plaza pathway approaching the bridge, providing facility usage insight which can influence future investments.


The Spirit Trail over Lynn Creek is an AAA route connecting North Shore communities and an attraction for all to enjoy. It incorporates a multi-functional plaza with an accessible entrance to cross over Lynn Creek, and an architecturally and aesthetically unique bridge designed to integrate with its natural environment. Expanding off-road options, this project improves quality of life for residents and provides important infrastructure upgrades to encourage mode shift within the community.

Service(s) Provided
– Prime consultant
– Preliminary bridge design and optioneering
– Parametric bridge modelling
– Detailed bridge design
– Interdisciplinary design coordination
– Cost estimating
– Contract preparation
– Tender support
– Construction support
– Contract Administration

Project Team (Consultants)
ALTA Planning + Design
Thurber Engineering
DMD & Associates Electrical Consultants
Durante Kreuk 

Project Team (Contractors)
Lafarge Canada


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