If you’re one of the many Peterborough residents who walk, run or cycle along the popular Jackson Creek Trail, you’ll want to be aware of some work being done along the trail this fall.
Otonabee Conversation is advising of a couple of projects taking place along the trail, one of which will result in a partial closure of the trail at the end of October.
The first project, which begins on Tuesday, October 16th, involves the removal of trees on Jackson Creek that are preventing Otonabee Conservation from properly monitoring watershed conditions, followed by the planting of replacement trees.
The trees that will be removed are interfering with the operation of a hydrometeorological monitoring station, according to a media release from Otonabee Conversation.
“The station provides data and information about precipitation, stream flow, and water levels within the Jackson Creek subwatershed,” explains Dan Marinigh, Chief Administrative Officer for Otonabee Conservation. “This data and information is critical to our watershed management program, specifically in the forecasting of high water levels and early warning of floods as well as the monitoring of low water and drought conditions.”
The conservation authority has been issued a permit to remove the selected trees in accordance with the City of Peterborough’s Tree and Woodland Conservation By-law. The work will be done by Logan Tree Experts, and should be completed by Friday, October 19th. The tree removal will not prevent recreational use of Jackson Creek Trail, but trail users should exercise caution while the work is being done.
Otonabee Conversation will be planting 52 new trees to replace the ones that have been removed.
“A mix of Eastern White Cedar and Poplar will be planted with the help of local high school students,” Marinigh says. “The planting project will be completed by the end of October.”
The second project involves the replacement of one of the four bridges that span Jackson Creek along the length of the four-kilometre trail. The most westerly bridge, known as #2017, is being replaced because of the deteriorating abutments and wing walls that support the bridge. Because of its poor condition, the bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic since 2014.
The work will involve the installation of erosion control measures, removal of the existing bridge and footings, construction of new bridge footings, and placement of the new bridge. Drain Bros. Excavating Limited will be doing the work, which is scheduled to begin on Monday, October 29th.
While the bridge work is underway, a one-kilometre portion of Jackson Creek Trail between Ackison Road and bridge #2009 (commonly known as the orange bridge) will be closed to trail users.
“We realize that the trail closure may be an inconvenience, but it is necessary in order to keep everyone safe during the construction period,” Marinigh says.
Signs indicating the closure of the trail within the designated area and suggested detours will be installed by Saturday, October 13th. No information is available on how long the bridge replacement work will take.
The replacement of bridge #2017 is part of a larger initiative over the next few years for trail maintenance. Some locations along the length of the trail require replacement of culverts and an application of new crushed stone, and the other three bridges need rehabilitation work.
“Given the subdivision developments that are planned or underway directly north and south of the Jackson Creek Trail, the trail will see an increase in use in the coming years,” Marinigh says. “In order to meet the growing demand for recreational use of the trail, installation of the new bridge is timely, and additional repairs in other locations along the trail will need to be undertaken over the next few years.”
Otonabee Conversation estimates the total cost of the bridge and trail repairs will be $400,000. While the Trans Canada Trail provided a grant for the engineering and design of the new bridge #2017 (the Jackson Creek Trail is designated as part of The Great Trail, formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail), Otonabee Conversation will be funding the rest of the work over the next five years.
The conservation authority says that anyone who wishes to make a charitable financial gift to support the Jackson Creek Trail improvements can do so online at www.otonabeeconservation.com or by visiting the Otonabee Conservation office located at 250 Milroy Drive in Peterborough.