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Smithers ready to connect trail to town

Council awards Cycle 16 connector design project to WSP
October 16, Pavement complete on Cycle 16 path between Smithers bridge and Laidlaw Road. (Deb Meissner photo)

Smithers council is making some moves to connect the Cycle 16 trail to town.

The 12-kilometre, paved, multi-use trail linking Telkwa and Smithers is currently wrapping up Phase 1 and has recently paved the route extending from the Bulkley River Bridge to Laidlaw Frontage Road.

Council approved the bid process to start looking for consulting engineering services for the Cycle 16 Connector Trail project; and they authorized staff to award the Cycle 16 Connector Trail project design contract to WSP for $92,456, funded from the approved 2023 capital project budget.

That project would start at the bridge, go down Tatlow Road North, hook up with Fulton Avenue and will be 1.8 km long.

The Cycle 16 society requested the town do this project three years ago and the town has unsuccessfully applied for grants to pay for it.

WSP recently advised staff that the Cycle 16 Phases 2 and 3 geotechnical investigation will be occurring the week of May 1 and that cost savings in the project design can be achieved for concurrent scheduling of the geotechnical investigation for the town’s project.

Town staff told council that completing the design and tender documents and producing a shovel-ready project will enable the Town to apply for a BC-MOTI Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants Program opening in the fall.

The 2023 capital budget includes the Cycle 16 Connector Trail at a total project cost of $1,000,000 funded from the BC Growing Communities Fund. The project budget includes engineering consultant fees, as town staff do not have the capacity to take on the work.

If the town is successful on the BC-MOTI grant application, the maximum $500,000 could be applied to the project, thereby freeing up town funds.

The trail design and construction will comply with accessibility standards for active transportation, similar to the Cycle 16 Phase 1 section completed in 2022.

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


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Marisca Bakker

About the Author: Marisca Bakker

Marisca was born and raised in Ontario and moved to Smithers almost ten years ago on a one-year contract.
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