Work is finally underway, after years of delays, on the trail system improvements long envisioned for downtown Quesnel.
The pedestrian routes along the riverbank in the picturesque border of the business district will soon have better surfaces and better lighting on which to walk and wheel.
Fresno Construction is now doing the work around the Fraser River Footbridge landing.
Most of the project was funded by grants that allowed local taxpayers to only have to invest a small percentage of the cost, even after significant delays were encountered.
“Archaeological permitting issues, the pandemic, inflation and supply issues contributed to a lengthy delay on this project, resulting in new budget considerations,” said a statement issued by the City of Quesnel. “Council approved allocation of $418,000 from gas tax funds to top-up the Northern Development Initiative Trust Strategic Initiatives Fund grant, to complete the project as tendered.”
The overall budget for this entire project in 2020 was $1,069,449.52 with the landing and trail lighting portion of the project budgeted at $931,549.52, according to the City’s director of capital works and infrastructure Chris Coben. It was originally set for 2020, but had to be redesigned in 2022 to reflect new construction and cost realities. Eighty per cent of the budget was covered through grants.
An Active Transportation Grant from the provincial government was also obtained this spring to cover some upgrades to the riverfront trail system, helping accessibility connecting the trails to the Fraser Village Senior Citizens Apartments.
“We know that people make healthier, greener transportation choices when the options are there,” said Rob Fleming, minister of transportation and infrastructure. “We’re investing in new and improved infrastructure that will give families more options and will benefit generations of British Columbians.”