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M.D. creating trail policy ahead of Northshore Heights Trail construction

What’s in a trail?

That’s what the M.D of Bonnyville is figuring out ahead of the Northshore Heights trail construction.

The M.D. is working on a trail standards policy ahead of the construction to have more uniform trails in the future.

“Administration is going to go back with a number of different standards. People have seen the paved walking trails, they’re great, but they’re a little bit costly to build,” said Reeve Greg Sawchuk.

“There are other communities that use different types of standards, whether it be a natural trail where you cut the grass and wander through the forest to shale being put down with different types of base.

“All these trails have different lifespans and different usages obviously. Some are meant to last 50 years and others meant to stay in that natural trail.”

The policy will include a 250mm subgrade, a 150mm base and 75mm asphalt layer – the most common standard the M.D. said following their research with surrounding communities.

A trail built in this way will have a 15-20 lifespan the M.D. estimates, and includes a two-year warranty.

These are the standards used ahead of the Northshore Heights Trail construction, which includes a hot mix paving of 4.5km along Range Road 463 to Highway 660.

“The Northshore Heights trail will join up from the Shaw House right through to the Iron Horse Trail. It’s going to be a heavily used trail. Lots of folks live in that area and it will be a natural tie-in back to the town. We expect usage there will be high, that’s why the trail is going to be developed to a high standard,” said Sawchuk.

“Our council is pro rec and trails is a big part of that. Giving people a chance to get out there and use them, whether it be bikes, strollers, walking, running, getting people active. It’s important. We have a young community and we’re all for trail development.