Construction of a new trail on Ferry Island is starting next Tuesday, a project donated by McElhanney Consulting which will be completed next spring.
The goal is to add 300 metres of new trail south and another 700 metres of new trail north of the Dudley Little Bridge near Walmart, which is the western bridge running adjacent to the campground.
A key part of the project is an underpass so that pedestrians and cyclists coming from the city across the bridge won’t have to cross over Hwy16 to gain access to the island’s main trail network.
The underpass will follow the route of an old road not visible from the highway, which was first used during bridge construction and forms a type of bench.
They will clear trail from the sidewalk of the bridge, forking down and under the highway to the campground side of the island, and also forking into the trees on the northern end of the island where the new trail will be built.
The cost is approximately $100,000 and is in recognition of the company’s 50th anniversary in 2017 of opening an office in Terrace.
McElhanney is more than 100 years old and the Terrace office was its first branch office outside of its main office in Vancouver.
Progressive Ventures is doing the main groundwork of the underpass, doing it at cost (no profit) because of their support for the great community project.
Next week’s goal is to finish the underpass, and the trail will be built by McElhanney crews next spring, said Jonathan Lambert, division manager with McElhanney Consulting.
McElhanney is talking with groups such as the Greater Terrace Beautification Society and the Ministry of Transportation about adding benches, signs and other features.
City council voted Nov. 28 to approve the trail project and to call it the McElhanney Trail.
A sign with the name on it will be made of cedar posts with an arching post and aluminum lettering; the company is looking at having signs on either end of the trail, said Carmen Didier, director of leisure services.
After the trail is developed, the city will be responsible for its ongoing maintenance. Trail costs are typically minimal for Ferry Island but if the island were to flood, there would be maintenance costs for repairs, she added.
The trail will be six feet wide with an eight to nine per cent grade so strollers, walkers and bikes can be maneuvered on it easily, said Didier.