|7.10 Manage the Construction
Plan the construction phase of trail development as carefully as the design
phases. Ensure that the construction practices will meet the specifications
and guidelines of the design package. Poor construction nullifies good
design. Well-designed and constructed trails require far less maintenance
and hence reduced operation costs. Key points to bear in mind are the length
of construction season, employee safety, the management of trail contractors,
and performance standards.
choose construction options,
use standard contract procedures,
consider cost saving measures.
7.10.1 Choose Construction Options
1. Parks Branch permanent or seasonal work crews, under the supervision
of staff or a contract trail designer:
2. Contract work crews under the supervision of staff or design contractor:
staff work crews may have specialized trail building skills,
staff work crews are familiar with management zones and park management
labour costs of staff may be higher.
3. Contract work crews under the supervision of contract supervision staff:
capital costs may be lower if the tender is competitive, but staff liaison
and supervision time may be high,
contract work crews may lack experience in parks or may not be familiar
with the design and management intent,
4. Volunteer work crews under staff supervision.
5. Job creation project work crews under staff supervision:
volunteers may be highly experienced and motivated to perform the work.
7.10.2 Use Standard Contract Procedures
work crews may lack experience in trail construction,
result may be uneven between projects,
7.10.3 Consider Cost Saving Measures
Tender trail construction contracts well before the construction season
to allow time for bidding, contract award, administrative arrangements
and mobilization of trail crews.
Ensure competent supervision of all trail construction work. Monitor each
phase of the work and check compliance with the design specifications.
Record any deviations from the original design intent.
Choose between full time supervision or critical stage inspections. Suitable
stages for inspections are after clearing, after tread preparation, after
construction of bridges and other structures and substantial completion.
Complete a final inspection after the work crew has remedied any deficiencies
noted during the substantial completion inspection.
Allow for design and specification changes to accommodate site conditions.
Pre-cut and prefabricate all structures. Fly in materials to remote areas
for assembly on site.
Fly in fill by helicopter if economical. One 45 gal. drum will hold .2m3
or about 700 lbs (~ 318kg) of crushed fill.
In remote areas, compare the cost of flying trail fill and other materials
from nearby staging areas, versus hand digging at several small borrow
pits in the park. A helicopter may still be needed for local transportation,
so the cost of labour may well exceed the cost of doing the whole operation
by helicopter. For example, even if flying time per ml is cut in half,
the cost of two people digging out a m3
of fill, plus getting to and from the site could make up the difference
Consider economies of scale. The cost of constructing short trail sections
may be cheaper if done in-house, but longer trails may be more economical
if done by contract.
Consider splitting out certain aspects of construction to achieve cost
efficiency. For example, the unit price of fill for trails could be reduced
considerably if all the required fill was trucked to a staging area and
transported to sites in one season's operation; even though the construction
period may extend over several seasons.
Provide maintenance for trail rehabilitation work during the establishment
period. Plant in the fall to reduce this maintenance requirement since
plants are past their growing season, and would not need moisture until
the spring. Snow melt moisture will reduce the need for immediate watering.
If landscape rehabilitation is done in mid summer, then a crew will have
to water the plants unless rainfall is adequate. Maintenance during the
establishment period will increase the initial cost, yet is essential to
protect the investment.