Council has approved spending approximately $360,000 to temporarily fix the slope erosion problem that’s forced the closure of the walkway on Lanfear Hill.
The proposal as approved by council last night would mean restoring the narrow walkway to its former width and do away with any thought of closing one lane to traffic to widen the surface for pedestrians and cyclists.
Crews would first need to dig test pits to determine exactly what’s needed, city engineering manager Kevin Sousa told council, but the plan is to remove anywhere up to one metre’s worth of material and replace it with rock fill and compacted material topped by crush to restore the walkway.
Pedestrian traffic up and down Lanfear Hill was closed several weeks ago after the walkway surface began sliding away.
In a report presented by Sousa, consultants Golder Associates indicated the fix should be regarded as temporary and have a lifespan of up to five years.
A more intensive project involving the use of heavily compacted earth to build up a series of walls instead of using rock fill would have a longer lifespan but would cost an estimated $900,000.
The temporary closure of Lanfear to pedestrians and cyclists did spark a prior council discussion about reducing Lanfear to one lane for traffic and thus widening a route for pedestrians and cyclists but the projected cost of over $200,000 for barriers and signs was rejected.
Councillors acknowledged having to spend $360,000 on a temporary fix was the best solution possible for the moment with councillor Sean Bujtas calling the decision “painful”.
The money will come from a grant provided to the city by the province for capital projects and can be spent as the city sees fit.