Thursday , 18 August 2022

50th Ave sidewalk from C2 to 7/11 gets green light from the town

An overhead view of Bonnyville with the three options presented to town council on where to put the sidewalk from the C2 to the 7/11 on Highway 659. Council chose option three highlighted in red.

The Town of Bonnyville is building a sidewalk on 50th Avenue from the Centennial Centre to the 7/11 on Highway 659, the town decided during Tuesday’s council meeting.

They chose to build alongside the north side of the Highway to limit safety hazards for pedestrians walking in that area.

“From the previous meeting, we’re trying to get some attention drawn for at least moving folks in that particular corridor because the speed limit from the apartments to the 7/11 is 70km/h,” said Mayor Gene Sobolewski. “There really is no channeling for that movement.”

Town council moved that the sidewalk will be phased in over two years. They will begin construction this year and lay down the final surfacing in 2020, said Sobolewski.

Council also moved that the estimated $300,00 cost for the project could come from a couple areas on the capital budget where there may be surpluses. But the project is taking priority than others on the improvement list.

“We do anticipate that at the end of 2019 with the way some of these capital projects and budget items we’ve put in there likely won’t align, so we’ll be able to rob from Peter to pay Paul without diminishing our original capital plan with patching and overlays and things like that.

“We don’t want to diminish from those projects, administration if projects can be deferred into next year. But the goal is that in the event that no projects can be deferred, we do anticipate that we have other line items in the capital budget that we may be able to take from and be able to pay for this project. The fact we’re trying to do that in two years that will reduce our impact on the budget,” said Sobolewski.

One of the difficulties with the project will be setting up crossing on the intersection of Highway 659 and installing crossing lights. The town will request to lower the speed limit from 70km to 50km.

“That’s one of the major issues. Not only do we need the pedestrian corridor but the crossing. It’s a wider intersection and a secondary highway. Alberta Transportation will be involved with it in terms of headlights and safely crossing,” said Sobolewski.

There is concern that pedestrians can’t use the sidewalks in the Beau Vista neighborhood along 47th avenue because the sidewalks aren’t cleared. This was another discussion from the original pedestrian strategy talks.

Sobolewski says that area specifically is the developer’s responsibility.

“Once we establish the trail and the sidewalks and things like that, then the crews are going to have to go on and do some clearing. However how our bylaw is written, a lot of snow clearing, particularly with sidewalks, is the responsibility of the property owner,” said Sobolewski.

“Council is going to have to start wrestling with how do we ensure that those sidewalks are indeed open so that people can actually use them.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.