News

River recreation trail on track for fall construction

By Kris Dube, Special to Postmedia News

(File photo)

(File photo)

There are two alternatives being explored as Niagara Parks Commission prepares to connect its riverside recreation trail to Fort Erie’s downtown core.

An open house was held last Thursday at the Old Fort. Steve Barnhart, senior director of parks, properties and planning for the parks commission, said there was a mixture of input that will be considered and incorporated into further recommendations to be brought forward to the provincially-funded agency as well as to the Town of Fort Erie.

“We’ve had some excellent feedback,” he said.

The parks commission and the local government have received matching grants of $250,000 to improve a section of the trail, from Forsythe Street to Bowen Road, through part of the province’s municipal cycling infrastructure program.

From its start, near Nicholls Marine, there are off-road options being explored until the trail reaches slightly north of Catherine Street, which is where it is expected that cycling lanes along the Niagara Parkway will carry the extension’s users to the Bridgeburg area of town.

Greg Taras, a senior planner from Urban and Environmental Management Inc. who is working on the project, said each alternative will avoid taking out as many trees as possible.

“We’re trying to reduce impacts in terms of the existing environment,” he said.

Barnhart said the project, once complete, will provide a missing three-kilometre link to a world-class trail system and that Thursday’s open house was helpful for the parks commission and the project’s planners.

“We’re refining the details and it’s an opportunity to flush out anything we may not have picked up on,” he said.

Work is expected to begin this fall.

Due to requirements attached to the provincial funding, the project must be finished by March 31, 2018. 



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