Historic St. Andrews, N.B. trail to receive repairs
HALIFAX -- A historic seaside trail in New Brunswick is set to be repaired and raised, after it was destroyed by a powerful windstorm this spring.
It has been more than six months since a section of the historic Van Horne trail in St. Andrews, New Brunswick was taken out by a powerful spring storm.
Some say the situation drives home the reality of climate change and wild weather for the vulnerable seaside community.
With high tides and winds literally lifting the pavement off the ground in a scenic section of the trail by Katy’s Cove, making it impassable.
“We lost access to the trail, and also the gates which closed Katy’s Cove were also damaged,” explains Dave Johnson of the St. Andrews trail and recreation group.
The section of trail has been shut down ever since the April 9 storm, but the wheels are now in motion to see it reopened.
A contract has been awarded by St. Andrews town council to restore it to what it was, at the cost of about $70,000.
“Because of work that we’ve done with Sorti, the group that paved the trail in the first place, we have taken possession of that part that was damaged and council has agree to rehabilitate that section of the trail,” says Doug Naish, mayor of St. Andrews.
Along with the repair, the section of the Van Horne trail will also be raised by 0.3 metres to adapt to rising sea levels.
Mayor Naish says that’s all part of the town’s adaptation strategy when it comes to climate change in the community, which is considered one of the Maritimes most vulnerable areas because it is surrounded by water on three sides.
“We’re on Passamoquoddy Bay, we’re on the channel of the St. Croix River, and at its deepest point off of Navy Island. So we will in fact be vulnerable, and there’s a lot of low land here, so we’ve studied that for a number of years,” says Naish.
Johnson says that even in the time period since the spring storm, the area of trail has continued to deteriorate.
While the path was originally paved to make it more accessible for everyone, officials say it won’t be repaved yet. But there’s still excitement in the community around restoring the trail link.
“Extensively used, especially in the time of COVID-19,” says Johnson. “I’ve come across people who come from elsewhere just the use the trail."
A popular attraction that officials want to see protected for years to come.