A portion of the Perimeter Trail near Riverside Park in Smithers will soon be fixed up.
Smithers Council awarded the contract for trail improvements to Steti Transport for $36,446, excluding GST at its June 14 meeting.
Only one other bid was received and that was for approximately $6,000 more.
The proposed maintenance work will improve approximately 210 lineal meters of existing trail, raising the trail elevation in sections where the worst washout and flooding have occurred.
Councillors Benson and Brown both raised some questions about whether or not this would be a temporary fix or something more permanent.
Mark Allen, director of development services eased their concerns by saying drainage to the Bulkley River in this floodplain area will also be improved along the trail.
“This project specially addresses the worst wash-out areas by raising the trail about 16 inches and establishing drainage patterns on the upper side of the trail along with culverts to direct runoff water and any flood waters that tend to back up in this low-lying area,” he said. “So [the project] will address both issues but the main issue is to raise the trail because significant erosion has taken place and the trail is lower than the surrounding ground.”
This is the second piece of the Perimeter Trail that is being improved with an $80,000 grant that was received in 2018 from the BC Rural Dividend Program. The first portion of the grant money went to the Active Transportation Plan which was completed in 2019. Staff shortages and the COVID-29 pandemic delayed the Perimeter Trail Riverside Project until now.
During the project, no trees will be cut down and trail access will be limited to vehicles and equipment small enough to pass through the existing yellow bollards at the trailhead.
Town staff said the proposed work will create more accessible trail sections and make walking and biking in that section drier, safer and more enjoyable.
The affected portion of the trail network will be closed during construction. It is expected to take two or three weeks, wrapping up at the end of September.