Acclaimed by federal fisheries as the largest creek daylighting project in British Columbia, the Daylighting Thain Creek project involved the removal of a 200 metre long culvert and replacement with a fish-friendly open channel and short culvert. The project was built at a cost of $1.4 million.
Kerr Wood Leidal developed the design concept after extensive consultation with the City of North Vancouver, neighbours, special interest groups, and the general public. As a result, the project has received wide-spread community support and has significantly improved the aesthetics and fish habitat of North Vancouver.
Channel design and construction were challenging due to the contraints of working within a narrow 10 metre right-of-way and the need for elaborate creek diversion measures to protect the water supply of downstream fish.
The channel design includes a box culvert, pools, and weirs, which create fish passage and habitat. Bioengineering methods were used to create vegetated upper channel banks.
The new channel has improved flood protection and has restored a section of Thain Creek to near-natural conditions. Since reinstatement of creek flows, coho have spawned upstream of the box culvert. In spring 2000, steelhead fry were spotted in the new channel.
This durable engineering solution has contributed to the preservation of endangered salmon stocks and has created an attractive creek corridor that will only improve in appearance as the newly planted vegetation matures.