By Jensen, Randy on July 25, 2020.
LETHBRIDGE HERALD – COALDALE
The Town of Coaldale has broken ground on a pathway expansion and enhancement project.
The desire for more trails and pathways in the town has long been identified as a central recreational priority by the community, the Town noted in a press release. In the 2019-21 capital budget discussions, town council allocated funding to expand the Town’s paved pathway network as a strategy that fulfilled a number of strategic priorities, including providing a designated safe route to school, investing in infrastructure, improving liability, and sustaining growth and development in Coaldale.
“By investing in greater amenities, we can improve the quality of life of our citizens and attract more economic growth to the Town,” says Coaldale Mayor Kim Craig in the release. “Improving our pathway network will visibly upgrade Coaldale’s infrastructure and continue to promote Coaldale as vibrant, thriving community that offers exceptional services to residents and local businesses. It’s also an amenity that lends itself to a variety of uses, and there’s no cost to enjoy it.”
Phase 1 includes expanding the existing trail network and paving over 3.3 kilometres of pathway in Coaldale, providing safe, non-vehicular connectivity to all sides of the community.
“By providing more pedestrian-oriented modes in Coaldale, we hope to see more residents engaging in active lifestyles,” says Craig. “We also aim to establish safer routes for our youth to travel to and from schools and other activities throughout the community.”
Phase 1 began on July 16, in which a central pathway will be built along the St. Mary River Irrigation District’s (SMRID) canal right of way. Town Chief Administrative Officer Kalen Hasting states, “This project would not have been possible without the support of the SMRID. We know that they are busy providing their core service – irrigation — but their willingness to step up and making time for this project is greatly appreciated. It’s a testament to our good working relationship.”
Phase 1 of the pathway expansion is expected to be completed in the fall. Once the entirety of the project is completed, the pathway system will eventually connect to the LINK regional pathway system that will run between Coaldale and the City of Lethbridge along the SMRID right of way through Lethbridge County. Both projects will ultimately become a part of the TransCanada Trail, a network of paths connecting thousands of communities across Canada.
“This robust network will serve people within and outside of Coaldale and will enhance their experience of the natural environment and promote community wellness,” says Craig. “We are excited to contribute to the growing pathway system that brings communities together.”