As the Babcock Park Lift Station & Interceptor Sewer Project nears completion, construction of the East Cannon River Trail (part of the Greenway Corridor) between Babcock Park and Dundas has begun. I took the above photos behind the Northfield Ice Arena and Northfield Athletic Club on Friday.
P. 52 of the March 15 City Council packet has background info:
Northfield applied for funding for the construction of a 3-mile trail from Babcock Park to Dundas through the 2009 Trail Legacy program and was granted $150,000 of the $500,000 requested. In addition the Rotary committed $100,000 to development of the trail along with a commitment from Dundas for $7,000. Due to the budget shortfall, cuts were made to the project including eliminating part of the proposed connecting trail section and paving the trail using crushed rock for the trail surface rather than bituminous as proposed.
Subsequently the City submitted two applications for the 2010 Legacy Grants to help fund the portions of the project that were eliminated. The City received $45,000 for construction of the connecting spur to Honeylocust. The City was not successful funding the paving portion of the project.
Completion of the paving portion of the trail project would provide the community with a few benefits. It would open the trail up to more user types such as inline skaters, skate skiers and those with mobility challenges. Paving would also provide a more stable and sustainable surface, holding up better in an area that is prone to flooding from time to time.
I’m not sure what’s happened since the March 15 meeting. Anyone have details on whether the trail will be paved this year? I checked the Mill Towns Trail news page and the Northfield Rotary news page, but alas, nothing.
Based on the condition of other paved trails, I’m not sure it’s something I hope for. The Riverside Park trail — the only alternative to riding on S Hwy 3 — has yet to be repaired from construction that occurred in summer 2010. The further damaging from flooding has also not been addressed, even though that could have been repaired a month ago. Mill Towns’ Trail is still rideable, but in poor condition as well. Keeping this new trail crushed limestone, as long as it is well-constructed and well-drained, could be better for runners, walkers, and would control bicycle speed.
If this were a transportation corridor, I would advocate for paving, but as a recreational trail, I think a permeable surface is fine. In any case, it’s good to see the Water/Land Legacy money being put to a good local use! I look forward to seeing this finished trail.
What would be really nice in the 10 year (hopefully less) plan would be another pedestrian bridge on this trail system at its midpoint over the river, where both trails are very close together. This would make two very nice loops. You could do a “short loop” to the midpoint, or a long loop all the way to Dundas.
Does anyone happen to know what the cost would be to pave the trail, and is having it paved in the eventual overall plan?
This is very exciting!
I should also state that I think that this trail will be somewhat wider and straighter than the Mill Town Trail. I love the MTT, but the areas where it pops up and crosses several driveways (with some sharp twists) gets to be rather challenging.
A secondary concern is that snowmobiles LOVE crushed limestone trail systems. Would this be an approved use of this trail during the winter months? Also, how are we going to keep ATV’s off this trail? I am hoping it stays a nice human powered trail…
[…] I blogged about the trail back in mid-May, I assumed it would extend all the way to Dundas since the Babcock Park Lift Station & […]
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