A first look at what might be possible to improve pedestrian and cyclist use of Lanfear Hill should be finished and ready for presentation to city council by the end of March.
First raised as an idea by City of Terrace engineering and public works director Jonathan Lambert last fall, Golder and Associates now has a $16,950 contract to determine if it’s feasible to move the walkway from beside the lane going up the hill to the other side of the road.
Now narrow and unfinished, portions of the walkway have sloughed off over the years. Last year the city closed Lanfear for a period of time to pedestrians and cyclists and then undertook work to stabilize a portion of the route to provent further erosion.
“This study will look at the geotechnical feasibility of raising the pathway and will provide direction for the next steps to improve pedestrian and cycling access along Lanfear,” said Lambert.
“If the project is geotechnically feasible, the next steps will be to prepare a conceptual design followed by a cost estimate.”
Lambert’s idea, the one now being examined by Golder, is to have a raised pathway complete with a guardrail that could be The result could be a raised sidewalk, with a guard rail, that could be up to 7 feet wide.
If Golder comes back with a report saying the prospect isn’t suitable, Lambert said next steps will be to look at potential improvements for the current pathway.
The Golder study comes at a time when the city continues to wait to see if an application to senior governments made last year for money to build a stairway from the Horseshoe to the Bench is successful.
It would connect lower Eby with upper Eby via a staircase of 266 steps and come with a rail or channel so that cycles could more easily be taken up or down. The uncovered stairs would be made of aluminum with serrated treads providing a better grip for year-round use.
The project carries an estimated cost of $721,451 with the city being required to pay 10 per cent.
There’s also a suggestion that if successful, the city could move the grant money for walkway improvements up Lanfear.
Lambert’s Lanfear Hill idea was one of several to improve pedestrian and cycling opportunities within the city and on the approaches to the city.
He’s also been in touch with the provincial transportation ministry to explore ways of widening walkways on the Sande Overpass, which is owned by the province, and the Dudley Little Bridge leading into Terrace from Thornhill from the east and the Kalum River Bridge on Hwy16 heading west of the city.
“We are learning how [the ministry] incorporates any active transportation improvements during their projects and will certainly encourage any improvements as we become aware of those opportunities,” Lambert said.