As part of its vision to “create experiences that people are amazed by,” the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in North Vancouver has produced CLIFFWALK through its innovative engineering design. CLIFFWALK, an eco-adventure, allows people to safely access the face of a 90-metre high granite cliff on a labyrinth-like series of narrow steel cantilevered bridges, stairs and platforms through an old-growth West Coast rainforest. CLIFFWALK also serves as the medium to describe the importance of the water cycle. This is accomplished through a series of interactive exhibits developed in conjunction with the David Suzuki Foundation on this amazing 213-metre journey.
Unique survey/construction techniques and cutting edge technology were required in this one-of-a-kind park that hosts more than 800,000 visitors annually. To create CLIFFWALK, the design, fabrication and construction techniques needed to be heavily interconnected. Steel was chosen for its versatility, ease of customization, constructability and durability. Approximately 80,779 Lbs. of galvanized steel was used for the project, including the majority of the foundations, the main structural members, a custom motorized overhead entrance gate, miscellaneous signage, lighting and educational displays, and the entire guard system, consisting of over 500 metres of steel handrails and a proprietary stainless steel mesh from Carl Stahl Décor Cable. Minimal impact on the environmental footprint was achieved throughout the process as workers hung over cliffs on ropes to install Duel Corrosion Protection steel rock anchors and the structure itself.
Due to its first-of-a-kind design and site constraints, each piece was custom designed and built through an intricate step-by-step process that would minimize as much as possible its impact on the surrounding area.
CLIFFWALK is longer than two football fields and allowed the reclamation of 8,100 m2 of previously unusable park land, a net benefit of over 735 percent. Architecturally, this project demonstrates the many creative uses of steel and how steel aesthetically can blend into a natural environment. CLIFFWALK has exceeded the expectations of the client, who describe it as “a breath-taking marriage of nature and engineering.”
Owner: Capilano Group of Companies
Structural Engineer: Morrison Hershfield Ltd.
Project Manager / General Contractor: Marc Luc Lalumière
Fabricator: Solid Rock Steel Fabricating Co. Ltd.
Detailer: Solid Rock Steel Fabricating Co. Ltd.
Erector: Marc Luc Lalumière / Solid Rock Steel Fabricating Co. Ltd.