The District of Sparwood is pursuing a $500,000 grant to fund a new 2.5-kilometre walking path along Michel Creek Road.
Plans were made to proceed with the walking path in 2019, but more work had to be done by the municipality before submitting the application to the B.C. Active Transportation Infrastructure Grant Program.
“We were planning on moving forward last year with the start of the trail, however, we had to figure out some logistics on part of the land that we want to put the trail on as it crosses over private land and public land,” David Wilks told MyEastKootenayNow.com, Mayor of Sparwood. “We’ve been able to hopefully negotiate that so that we’ll be able to pave that 2.5 kilometre-long walking trail along Michel Creek Road that will end up at Highway 43.”
Michel Creek Road is a busy industrial road in the community but the District is looking to improve walkway connectivity, while also working to improve safety as well.
“We are in conversation with the Province to have a crossing light put at Highway 43 and Michel Creek Road, one of those push-button walking lights that you can get across the highway, and we’ll wait for the Province to determine their study that they’re ongoing with,” said Wilks. “In the meantime, we’ll move forward with this walking path that is needed within the community and will add more walking trail availability to those that like to use our trails.”
The District of Sparwood had originally set aside $70,000 for the project but has since increased its maximum contribution to $215,000 pending the $500,000 grant application before the Province.
The $70,000 was already set aside for the Michel Cemetry portion of the walkway, leaving a $145,00 gap for the remainder of the project.
Currently, the plan for the Michel Creek Road path is that it would be built in multiple phases. The first phase would see the construction of the walkway from the Michel Creek Cemetery towards Industrial Road No. 1, while the second phase would complete construction of the trail from the Michel Cemetery to the Highway 43.
The deadline for the grant application is February 20, 2020, with the District of Sparwood anticipating the walkway would be complete by the end of March 2021 should they be awarded the $500,000.