October 14, Pavement rolls on Cycle 16 path between Smithers bridge and Laidlaw Road. (Deb Meissner photo)

With thanks to Mother Nature, the new multi-use trail between Smithers and Telkwa is ahead of schedule.

Ready to ride

With thanks to Mother Nature, the new multi-use trail between Smithers and Telkwa is ahead of schedule.

Paving of phase 1 of the trail began on Oct. 14 and with the warm weather, crews worked through the weekend to complete the work on Oct. 17. The finishing touches are currently happening.

“We weren’t sure if it would happen this fall, but with this weather it is a go,” said Allan Cormier, president of the Cycle 16 Society.

READ MORE: Cycle 16 making progress on trail between Smithers and Telkwa

Phase two is planned to run from Babine Lake Road to the highway rest area between Donaldson Road and Raymond Road, and is 3.6 kilometres. This will involve an underpass crossing of Highway 16. This phase is currently in the planning stages.

Phase three of the trail will run from the highway rest area to Midway Gas Station in Telkwa, approximately 3.5 kilometers. Because of some infrastructure replacement work, the Village of Telkwa has taken on responsibility for the remainder of the proposed trail to the Tyhee Market. The Village will also be continuing the trail to Eddy Park to join up with the existing trail along the river.

Originally the trail was conceived for the safety aspect of separating motorized traffic from trail users. In further consideration, it became apparent the potential uses were multifaceted, from providing green alternatives to driving between Telkwa and Smithers, to accommodating a wide variety of users, from families with strollers to runners to wheelchair users.

At the Oct. 11 meeting of the Village of Telkwa council, it was decided by unanimous vote to support a letter to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure for B.C. requesting funding and support to complete the trail, which will cost $5 million.

“From our perspective, this would be an advantageous project to place transportation funding. Hundreds of cars during the summer months taken off the road with all the associated savings, carbon emissions, highways wear and tear, fitness, quality of life and perhaps the biggest savings to society—health care costs.

“The increasing cost of living, especially fuel, food and housing, is a challenge for everyone especially young families in these growing communities. A cycle path will bring opportunities to live a more affordable, sustainable and healthy life,” read a letter drafted by Tony Harris, past president of Cycle 16 Trail Society.

The letter goes on to request local participation and input into the minister’s transportation and infrastructure planning process, and asks of the minister what criteria are important for project selection.

Minister Fleming has not yet responded to the Society.



deb.meissner@interior-news.com

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A worker rolls pavement on the Cycle 16 path between the Smithers bridge and Laidlaw Road on Oct. 14. (Deb Meissner photos)

A worker rolls pavement on the Cycle 16 path between the Smithers bridge and Laidlaw Road on Oct. 14. (Deb Meissner photos)

October 14, Pavement rolls on Cycle 16 path between Smithers bridge and Laidlaw Road. (Deb Meissner photo)

October 14, Pavement rolls on Cycle 16 path between Smithers bridge and Laidlaw Road. (Deb Meissner photo)

October 14, Pavement rolls on Cycle 16 path between Smithers bridge and Laidlaw Road. (Deb Meissner photo)

October 16, Pavement complete on Cycle 16 path between Smithers bridge and Laidlaw Road. (Deb Meissner photo)

October 16, Pavement complete on Cycle 16 path between Smithers bridge and Laidlaw Road. (Deb Meissner photo)

October 16, Pavement complete on Cycle 16 path between Smithers bridge and Laidlaw Road. (Deb Meissner photo)

October 16, Pavement complete on Cycle 16 path between Smithers bridge and Laidlaw Road. (Deb Meissner photo)

October 16, Pavement complete on Cycle 16 path between Smithers bridge and Laidlaw Road. (Deb Meissner photo)

October 16, Pavement complete on Cycle 16 path between Smithers bridge and Laidlaw Road. (Deb Meissner photo)

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