Whistler/Blackcomb Cloudraker Suspension Bridge & Platform
Surrey, BC Canada | 2018
Rising 250m above sea level, the new Malahat Skywalk, located on territory of the Malahat Nation a short drive north of Victoria, is an immersive nature experience for tourists. The outdoor recreation structure is on Southern Vancouver Island, among forests, orchards and vineyards. Previously, only agile explorers could enjoy such an experience, but thanks to the new TreeWalk and Spiral Tower, now even strollers and wheelchairs can access this wild environment.
This project aims to protect and enhance the ecological values of the park, collaborate with First Nations, balance public use with ecological values and connect visitors to the park’s natural values and cultural heritage.
A 650m long galvanized and timber “treetop walk” leads visitors from the visitor center onto the hot-dip galvanized spiral ramp which takes you up 30m to a galvanized lookout platform. There you will enjoy stunning, 360-degree views of Finlayson Arm, Saanich Inlet and Peninsula, and the Gulf Islands of Canda, as well as the San Juan Islands and Mount Baker in the United States.
For those with a more adventurous spirit, you can take a walk out (or lay down) on the Adventure Net to have uninterrupted views of the lush arbutus forest and spiral structure. The arbutus has reddish bark and bear white flowers in the spring and red berries in the fall. When you are finished taking in the sights and sounds, you can opt to come down the “fast route” on a 20m spiral slide or return down the ramp.
The primary structural system consists of glulam columns with hot-dip galvanized steel bracing all around the perimeter. Galvanized outriggers from these columns create a 600m-long spiral walkway transporting visitors to the top of the structure and access to the viewing platform. A galvanized steel central spiral staircase provides emergency egress.
Hot-dip galvanizing was specified as the primary coating for the Skywalk for its natural corrosion resistance properties. With its proximity to the Salish Sea, galvanizing was the only option to achieve coating longevity while maintaining a more natural look to paint or other coating systems tying the entire structure with its natural surroundings.
The Malahat Skywalk will provide a new reason for tourists to visit the island as well as offer a unique daytrip for locals. Built in a sustainable manner, the world-class structure will welcome visitors to enjoy the “ultimate natural high” for years to come; thanks in large part to hot-dip galvanized steel.
Excellence Award Winners
Recreation & Entertainment
Malahat, BC Canada
Aesthetics, Coating Durability, Corrosion Performance, Ease of Specifying, Initial Cost, Life-Cycle Cost, Sustainability
30m tall inner Spiral staircase, 650m treetop walkway including columns, braces and hand railing, spiral support x bracing and outriggers, 600m spiral outer walkway and viewing platform
Wide Open Welding
Murdoch & Company
Aspect Structural Engineers
Silver City Galvanizing, Inc.
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