Kinsol Trestle, Trans Canada Trail, Vancouver Island BC Canada
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 Welcome to Kinsol Trestle, Trans Canada Trail, Vancouver Island BC Canada
 Tuesday, September 17 2013 @ 10:47 AM CDT

Hooray-The Kinsol and trail is OPEN

Today marks the opening of the Historic Kinsol Trestle. A Last Spike ceremony was completed by former Duncan mayor-Mike Coleman and a group of several hundred were then serenaded across the trestle by the lovely sound of bagpipes. The bridge will carry pedestrians ,hikers, and bikers, and will allow all to see more of The Cowichan Valley Trail with ease. The new bridge retains 60 % of its' historic timber.
Local author /historian Tom Paterson who has been an advocate for years,was busy all day like a child with a new toy.Gord Macdonald and Steve Lawrence fielded questions on the massive project of restoring the span.Members of The Land Conservancy executive also came to see the fuss! The Shawnigan Lake museum had a kiosk along with The Duncan museum. There is a beautiful scale model in the Shawnigan LakeMuseum of the trestle-alongwith many other goodies for sale. Tom Paterson has created a trail map that is for sale directly or in the museum! A must have for the new through TCT !
A huge thanks to all who brought this project to the limelight! Ramsay Machineworks, Macdonald and Lawrence Timberframing, TripleM, Stantec ,Knappett Projects , Angle 5 Media, South Cowichan Rotary ,Commonwealth Group,and the CVRD along with many other contractors and tireless http:/KINSOL.CA fundraisers! In memory and remembered for their kindness and dedication are former CN Rail engineer,Ralph Morris,and local historian Jack Fleetwood ,and photographers David Wilkie and Elwood White.These men contributed to the project for many years. Rotary has once again gone the extra distance and built a beautiful trail along the river for added viewing of the structure-LOOK for the signs and watch for viewing platforms coming soon!! Filmographer Yvonne Mcnabb of ANGLE 5 media is busy producing a documentary of the entire project. They were the only firm to fully document the restoration......
In this day of shout outs-special thanks to -MLA John Horgan,Denise Savoie ,Jean Crowder ,Jack Peake ,Bill Turner (TLC), Dave Elliot and MarleneSpaeth,Kathryn Gagnon and Lori Treloar,Tiffany Weatherston,John Luton(Capital B/W) to name a few...... there are still so many...
The Kinsol Trestle was built by men who knew of no obstacles.The same can be said of those who had the tenacity to save it from being demolished. OUR HISTORY must be celebrated.....

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The "Buzz" in the Valley-and a Camera too!

It seems a short time ago, that the Kinsol Trestle's potential, was still being debated at the CVRD /provincial level. In actual fact , the trestle of late is a major construction project and a hive of activity. Cranes are busy -high above the valley floor aiding in dismantling the old and lifting in new beams and components of the renewed structure.
One greatly kept secret -is the installation of a viewing camera so that progress may be monitored from home ! The Ministry Of Transport has the camera mounted so that it may be accessed from their website-very exciting. Special thanks to Yvonne McNab (ANGLE 5 video media), and the MOT for collaborating to make this happen! As usual-a privateer has rolled up sleeves -to get the job done.... Of course Gord Macdonald is full time at the site ensuring standards of excellence. The Kinsol foundation is busily working to raise needed funds -so please donate .KINSOL.CA
Please remember-the Shawnigan side of the bridge is closed until further notice


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Workers Compensation Insurance

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General Liability Insurance

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Kinsol Trestle Fundraising Announced

The Kinsol trestle will be restored once the balance of funds required to do so, are raised. 4.1 million dollars are already on hand. Two million additional dollars are needed to see the construction commenced and the future maintainance fund secured.
The Cowichan Foundation is receiving funds on behalf of the Kinsol restoration campaign. Donations may be made at KINSOL.CA from anywhere .
The Trans Canada Trail will soon be completed on Vancouver Island with a feature of unparalleled significance. The Kinsol Trestle will soon support traffic including cyclists,equestrians ,and hikers.

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Reason for Celebration

Thursday was a special day in the Cowichan Valley. A small gathering of people met at the Kinsol Trestle for a major funding announcement of the Island Coastal Economic Trust,under the direction of the Honourable Ida Chong. 1.7 Million dollars was brought to the trestle rehabilitation/trail initiative after a proposal was maximized from a two year ask.This brings the total funds raised thus far to 4.1 million dollars -the balance of funding will be raised through the community by The Cowichan Foundation.
Mayor Phill Kent and Jack Peake were on hand along with Gordon Macdonald of Commonwealth Restoration -the firm that recently completed a feasibility study of the trestle. Ida Chong spoke to the beauty of the trestle and that pictures fall short of the mark. The true experience is in seeing it up close-the structures' massive timbers and monolithic presence can now be viewed properly as a vegetation management program has commenced and sightlines are greatly improved.
Donations of in kind materials and support are being sought so that the trestle program can move ahead. CVRD Parks manager Brian Farquhar was pleased with the announcement as was John Luton -executive director of the Capital Bike and Walk Society. NDP Juan de Fuca mla John Horgan spoke to the need to preserve the historic icon of BC ,Canada,and the Commonwealth. At this point, there is no turning back . The bridge may be opened for 2010.

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Kinsol listed among Programs for Completion

This week ,Premier Gordon Campbell announced 31 million dollars will be earmarked for a Bike BC program to increase awareness and infrastructure improvements for alternate transport in the Province. These funds ,will aid the progress of significant programs already benefitting from Kevin Falcon's MOT initiative under Act Now and LocalMotion .
British Columbians will see bicycle paths repaired and completed ,while cycling lanes on roadways will be created and enhanced to provide safe corridors in which vehicular traffic and cyclists will coexist .
John Luton ,Executive Director of the Capital Bike and Walk Society, a Victoria based organization which supports alternative methods of transportation,has made some top recommendations for funding channels. Among them were the completion of the E and N trail linking Victoria to the TransCanada trail. Federal MP Gary Lunn commited 15 million to the trail last year. The announcement of further specific funding will allow for greater challenges of the trail design to be met.
The Kinsol Trestle is also listed as being of principal importance -according to Luton,and in need of a push to meet the 2010 completion deadline at which time, the E and N trail will initiate in Victoria, and will end in Lake Cowichan thus completing a spectacular commuter and tourism link for cyclists. The Kinsol has been in need of repair for many years,and is being recognized as the "Gateway" of the Trans Canada Trail on Vancouver Island . A comprehensive study of the historic wooden structure has been completed and recognizes the trestle as being in very good condition to allow for a heritage restoration.
It is with great hope that Kevin Falcon will once again cut the ribbon on opening day and lead the pack across the trestle on his mountain bike. The Kinsol Trestle represents an interesting bridge project similar to the Kicking Horse (Park) and Port Mann -but reflects the real future of alternative transportation in the Province.
The Bike BC funding will certainly help cash strapped municipalities to complete additional programs that will help make cycling safe and efficient

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ART and the 'Gateway" to the Cowichan Regional Trail

For the past 20 odd years The Kinsol Trestle at M51 has stood as a symbol of pride and ingenuity and a token of when things were built to last .The men who toiled for years at The Koksilah River ,were intelligent and diligent in their approach to put the railway through. They were artisans who saw the need for clear design and quality to ensure the success of the rail line they were building.
ART is actually an acronym in this case-for all that represents the case of the Kinsol to date-and the importance of it's necessary conservation.
A is for the Awareness of the bridge -it's semi remote location ,history,and story to present all of which need an added boost. Advertising to the site will ensure it's success.
R-is for recreational values which are increasing continually -the need for which is the concern of every municipal planning dept.The TCT will be a free of charge benefit drawing all from far and wide to seek out it's points of interest. The Kinsol is the largest original bridge for this use in Canada.
T -of course represents tourism ;something an advertised Kinsol and the trail -with 7 other original bridges-will attract in masses.We have the original historic path that the Kettle Valley was before the fires......They now have replacement bridges to celebrate a historic lline with an amazing story ,but without the keystone trestles of origin.
Since 1979 ,many people have in diffferent ways sought to bring deserved attention to the Kinsol and have it restored or repaired for public use.Jack Fleetwood,Richard Pope,Ralph Morris, Tom Anderson and the TCT organization, Kathryn Gagnon,Tom Paterson,Macdonald and Lawrence-and many more have spent hours working for the cause of retaining this unique historic structure n the Cowichan Valley-and of course the MOT and CVRD.
A trail commenced in the nineties, and dubbed the Trans Canada Trail was to cross Canada and here we are years later with that finish goal in our sites. The sole components which have for so long-been obstacles are now being developed around us to fashion this wonderful recreational facility. What an asset to the community the 2010 trail portion of the Cowichan Regional Trail will be with The Kinsol majestically calling all to the gateway with a spectacular river crossing.

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Gateway to the 2010 Trail


This stunning aerial image -courtesy of Don Fern -clearly shows the impressive span over the Koksilah river. If you look carefully you can see people on the trail-wishing they could cross. Much of this monolithic structure's deck is hidden among the trees while only 15% needs replacement from the fire of 1993 . There is a strong movement afoot to revive the Kinsol to its former glory for 2010.
The Kinsol trestle, will draw people in the same way that Chemanus murals and covered bridges in eastern Canada do.The railway is of national significance. Gordon Lightfoot recorded The Canadian Railroad Trilogy and sang of our heritage and of the significant crossing of our nation with steel. This was completed on Vancouver Island not 5 miles from the Kinsol at Cliffside. The Kinsol trestle will become the cornerstone of the Cowichan Valley Recreational Trail

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Big Wheels finally Turning at CVRD regarding The Kinsol Trestle

The CVRD has broken tradition and voted to move ahead with the restoration feasability study of the 86 year old trestle -citing its unique design and heritage value. Eight years have gone by while groups debated for or against a complete restoration of the now famous Kinsol Trestle.
Director Joe Allan raised the issue of futility of fighting progress in that the Board had voted against the restoration for so long that he wished for nothing other then progress in this important issue. Chair Jack Peake, waved a copy of BCAA Westworld Magazine's fall issue before the Board to show the feature story of The Kinsol. 'This things more popular on a world level now then we could have dreamed ",he stated. Victoria recently got a 11 million dollar boost for their trail programme -and the CVRD Board voted last night for a further application for funding of The Kinsol Trestle. What a history of the working past,we will celebrate, in BC with The Kinsol, as the covered bridges of Maritime Canada are recognized internationally.
Local magazines and television crews are busily reporting on the future crossing of the Trans Canada Trail. This webpage has received 325 000 visits in 27 months. The Kinsol is said to be the largest(highest) remaining timberframe bridge in the British Commonwealth at 145 ft.!
With world level restorers waiting to commence in opening up the last break in the trail, the CVRD Board has finally voted and move ahead with promoting history. This month 3 reknowned firms submitted proposals to repair the crossing at the Koksilah river. Commonwealth Restorations Ltd., a consortium of firms including Macdonald and Lawrence timberframing (,which restored Windsor Castle in the U.K. after the fires.) has been awarded the contract. A restored Kinsol Trestle will draw countless numbers to the Trans Canada trail in a celebration of recreation and our local heritage.

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Birds eye view

The bridge deck surface is in great condition either side of the centre fire damage. The CVRD will enjoy the added tourism dollars flowing into the area once the bridge is reopened. The originall survey of the bridge is from 1910- a centennial of this fact will share the 2010 celebration of our Cowichan Valley Regional Trail. Finally the trail will open for all to enjoy.
Photo-Don Fern

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 » Click here to go to the Cowichan Foundation’s Kinsol Trestle Campaign page to donate

 » Kaatza Museum

 » Shawnigan Lake Museum

 » Cowichan Valley Museum

 » Capital Bike and Walk Society

 » Youth Helping to Save the Trestle

 » 2007 BC Geocoin featuring the Kinsol Trestle

Maps - How to get there?

TW Paterson
Dave Pollock

The current polls question is:
What should happen to the Kinsol Trestle?
1. Tear it Down
2. Stabilise and build another bridge for hikers
3. Restore it completely

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