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Walking through Quesnel’s new trail features

Quesnel’s riverfront now sports upgraded pedestrian experience
A set of improvements to the Quesnel riverfront walking trails, from the pedestrian bridge to the hospital, are now open for public use. (Karen Powell photo)

It’s a great day to go for a walk along the downtown riverfront. No matter what the weather, the trail has never looked so good or worked so well for the pedestrian population.

After years of planning, fundraising, adjusting for COVID, and finally getting shovels in the ground this past spring, the promenade is now ready for ambulation of all kinds. The improvements generally run from the foot bridge to the hospital, with improved access to the Golden Centre in the middle.

“The bridge end and trail lighting started as a 2020 project that was delayed due to the pandemic and archeology permitting approvals,” said Chris Coben, director of capital works and infrastructure for the City of Quesnel. “Features are the upgraded lighting and electrical at the bridge end, widened sidewalk, as well as new lighting from the bridge along the trail to the hospital. The light poles were delayed to receive and are now being installed this week.”

Once the lockdowns and supply chain issues were addressed, the project - which had some phased segmentation - could be given proper timeline parameters. Coben said those were successful, and the project will finish within the approved phased budgets.

It will certainly represent a significant improvement in aesthetics and amenities, upgrading the downtown’s walkability and accessibility. Drainage has been considered, lighting has been considered, pavement has been added, and other features for walkers and wheelers to move along the riverfront corridor more safely and easily.

“The trail down to the river walk from the Golden Centre is wide, at a less steep grade to meet active transportation guidelines also improving maintenance access and replaces the hazardous narrow trail that was falling over which has been removed as part of this project,” Coben said. “Smoother flow for trail users and a resting bench is included. This is close to completion with some minor work delayed to be completed in the spring.”

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