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Posted: August 1, 2018

City to aid Great Trail Loop project

It is called the Cranbrook Great Trail Loop after all.

City of Cranbrook council July 30 unanimously agreed to provide a city truck and driver to haul 15 dump truck loads of gravel for the Cranbrook Great Trail Loop.

Al Skucas

Al Skucas, Chief Isadore Trail Project Team Lead and Trails BC Director for Rockies/Kootenays asked the city in a July 24 correspondence for assistance, hauling gravel aggregate from CP’s Swansea Pit operations in Lumberton to the city.

“Trails BC is currently working on a project where we have proposed the designation of a Cranbrook Great Trail Loop. This trail designation would utilize the existing legacy TCT Rotary Way paved pathway in Cranbrook and utilizing existing trails within the Cranbrook Community Forest and will establish a 16-km loop trail that would be half urban pathway and half forested rustic trail with a limited amount of new trail construction required,” Skucas related in his letter.

Trails BC has arranged the financing for this project and has partnered with the Cranbrook Community Forest Society as well as the WildHorse Cycling Club in the initiative, he added.

“This new trail designation would integrate the Cranbrook Community Forest, City of Cranbrook Idlewild Park, downtown Cranbrook, city and private campgrounds, newly established Chief Isadore Trail as well as links to the popular NorthStar Rails-to-Trails and the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Centre.

Click to enlarge

“The only new trail construction of this project was the building of three-km of new trail from the Isadore Canyon Trailhead up to Kettle Lake in the Community Forest. This new easy trail section with grades of five per cent or less will make trail access into the northern sections of the Community Forest (CF) more accessible for seniors and families. This part of the project was just recently completed two months ago and is already been utilized by many within our community.”

Phase 2 of this project planned for September is to improve the existing trail along the Fortis gas line ROW within the Community Forest. Use of this popular trail access section to the Cranbrook CF is limited in the shoulder seasons as the clay, loamy surface material is soft and loose when wet, Skucas outlined, noting work in phase two requires the gravel and help from the city.

“To the east of the Baker Road CF TH the Fortis (right-of-way) continues for 700 metres on Crown and city land until 9th Street. It is here where the trail would tie into the legacy Rotary Way. There is currently a rough trail currently on the ROW which we propose to widen to two metres and resurface with a gravel aggregate, which we would compact after application.”

Help from the city would be a huge as funds are scarce, Skucas said.

“By providing such assistance this would allow Trails BC to apply our limited resources to further improve some short sections of trails in the Cranbrook Community Forest that were not in the original budget. This will make the Cranbrook Great Trail Loop an enjoyable trail experience that will be an additional trail asset for our local and out of town trail users. It would be another step in developing Cranbrook and region to be a cycling destination area,” he said.

Council learned it would cost about $1,200 in labour and trucking costs to move the 15 loads of gravel.

Coun. Ron Popoff made a motion for the city to provide assistance, with the funds to be drawn from the council contingency fund.

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