Residents take part in the Terry Fox Run, 2015, along the Grand Trunk Pathway. A design for the completion of the pathway from where it stops now just short of Frank St. and Hwy 16 to the Kalum River Bridge is nearly completed. (Black Press Media file photo)

Residents take part in the Terry Fox Run, 2015, along the Grand Trunk Pathway. A design for the completion of the pathway from where it stops now just short of Frank St. and Hwy 16 to the Kalum River Bridge is nearly completed. (Black Press Media file photo)

Terrace council zeroes in on walking, cycling projects

Grants make them possible, but there are worries about costs

Terrace city council members may have met Sept. 23 for a first pass-through of capital spending plans for next year but they also took the opportunity to put the ‘active’ into ‘active transportation’ — the government phrase for walking and cycling.

Here’s a summary of what came up, presented in a question and answer format:

Q – Can bike lanes be added when existing roads are being repaved?

A – No. Existing roads were built for vehicle lanes so more than likely there is no more width to be had. Besides, simply paving over an existing surface without proper subsurface preparation would be a waste of money as the asphalt would quickly deteriorate.

Q – What’s the status of a planned pedestrian walkway and bicycle lane along the 4800 Block of Keith Ave. paralleling the frontage of the inland port being proposed by Progressive Ventures?

A – A contentious rewriting of the official community plan and re-zoning of the property has now gone through and the project in which goods and material will be shifted from trucks to train cars and vice versa is now in the development permit stage.

From the start, this called for a rebuilding of the 4800 Block of Keith and that includes proper space for pedestrians and cyclists.

There’s no cost yet for this part of the project but Progressive Ventures will be chipping in to pay for a portion of the work.

Q – What’s the status of the completion of the Grand Trunk Pathway/Millennium Trail from where it stops now just short of Frank St. and Hwy 16 to the Kalum River Bridge west of town?

A – The design for this project is nearly finished and could go out to tender before the year is out with construction next year. Placing lights along the path is included in the design.

This project has a price tag so far of $998,654 made up of a $500,000 provincial grant and $498,654 from a cheque sent each year from gas tax collected by the federal government.

But development services director David Block and public works and engineering director Jonathan Lambert have warned council that it’s difficult nowadays to predict tender results.

“There’s a very good possibility we’ll need to come back to council to discuss that … that $998,000 may not be adequate for a full pathway construction, including the lighting component,” Block told council.

Q – What about another significant pedestrian/cycling improvement project … from the old bridge to downtown?

A – Thanks to another provincial grant, this one for $921,352, what’s being called the Lakelse Gateway Connection will replaced the existing narrow gravel shoulder by a one-kilometre long separated and protected three-metre wide asphalt pathway.

Starting from the old Skeena Bridge, this pathway will end at Apsley Street and is now scheduled for construction in 2022.

Q – Is there a plan for a better sidewalk from the museum location on the Bench running in front of the McConnell Estates/Terraceview Lodge property to the lookout area at the top of Skeenaview Drive? Councillor Sean Bujtas called it “4 X 4 territory” presenting challenges for pedestrians, particularly older people and those using walking aids.

A – The city does have what engineering and public works director Jonathan Lambert called a “nominal” budget for sidewalk work and said his department will take a look at the situation.