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Possible trail system on Birchview Road
August 10, 2018
BY TERRY MCQUITTY
Harold Nelson, Manager of Public Works submitted a report which addressed the BPOA ask. Nelson pointed out that this request was tabled in 2001 and included safety concerns such as speeding, and pedestrian and cycling traffic.
Birchview Road was upgraded in 2013 and this major road work took into account the lane widths, the road surface, ditching and drainage. Also, at the time of upgrading the road the BPOA requested widened corners and roadway where possible. This request was honoured.
Nelson stated that he was not against the project but pointed out that there were a number of hurdles that would have to be cleared which would result in the trail system being a major capital project.
Listed below are Nelson’s concerns:
1) Property would have to be purchased
2) Extensive tree cutting
3) ORCA would need to be consulted due to two major wetland concerns
4) Possible bridge construction required over these wetlands
5) At every cross culvert in our road system, cross culverts would need to be in the trail to keep water flowing
6) If the trail is to cross over Birchview Road, to meet MTO standards cross walks would need to be installed as well as all other signage requirements
7) Hydro poles are also in the right away and construction of the trail would have to take this into consideration
8) Dunford’s Hill and other areas along the road there are major elevation considerations
9) Butternut trees are protected and would need to be given consideration in the construction of this trail
10) Consideration of an environmental assessment (species at risk)
11) Accessibility for the trail would need to meet engineering standards
12) Responsibility for maintenance of the trail
Nelson stated that with all the other roads projects in the township this could prove to be too expensive and recommended that council receive the report, but deny the request.
Council appreciated Nelson’s report, but the entire council agreed that there should be some research done to see if there is any way to make the project happen. Mayor J. Murray Jones said that maybe we can’t complete the trail system all at once, but possibly a plan could be put in place on a long term basis. Jones suggested that a committee be struck and a conversation begin on how to make the project a reality.
Council received the report and moved that a committee to address the request be formed.