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Trail Extension Will Connect Ponoka’s River Valley Trails, Downtown Area and Arena Complex
(October 18, 2021– Ponoka, Alberta) – A new walking trail extension that will connect the south end of Ponoka’s Downtown area to the Ponoka Arena Complex is currently underway. Work started September 27 on the first phase of the project, which will see construction of an asphalt walking trail that stretches along the south end of 50 Street and Highway 53 to the Ponoka Arena Complex at 54 Street.
The new walking trail extension will begin at the pedestrian bridge to the Battle River Trail system located across from the Battle River Medical Clinic just north of 44 Avenue. The new multi-use trail will be three metres wide in accordance with recommendations in the Town’s Transportation Master Plan to ensure it is accessible to all citizens.
Quality of Life Improvements
“Ongoing improvements to trails and recreation facilities in Ponoka are a Council priority under the Town’s Strategic Plan because it increases the quality of life that our residents enjoy,” said Sandra Lund, Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Ponoka. She added, “Outdoor recreation continues to be especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide citizens with more opportunities to stay active by riding their bikes and walking or jogging along the walking trails throughout Ponoka.”
The new trail extension is based on recommendations in the Town’s Recreation Master Plan, the Downtown Action Plan and the Transportation Master Plan. These plans all recommend making Ponoka a more walkable community by adding new connections to the existing walking trail system in the Downtown area. The design of the new trail extension was developed in consultation with the Town’s former Recreation, Parks and Culture Advisory Committee, Alberta Transportation and affected businesses on 50 Street.
Construction of the new walking trail extension will include:
- Large planters and barriers to create a safe walkway for pedestrians along the east side of 50 Street from the pedestrian bridge to Highway 53. The planters will contain mature trees, flowers and greenery;
- Designated turning lanes for traffic on 50 Street at the intersection of Highway 53;
- The narrowing of a portion of 50 Street that stretches from the intersection of Highway 53 to the pedestrian bridge just north of 44 Avenue – a traffic calming measure intended to reduce traffic speeds and increase pedestrian and traffic safety along that stretch of roadway. This is in accordance with the Town’s Transportation Master Plan;
- Maintaining two full lanes of traffic and wide turning radiuses for truck and trailer traffic along this portion 50 Street; and
- Crosswalk and line painting that will ensure a safe flow of traffic and pedestrians along 50 Street.
Attractive Entrance Feature to Downtown
“As a Town, we are so fortunate to have the natural beauty of the Battle River Valley trail system running through the heart of our community. This new trail project will enhance that beauty by providing an attractive entrance feature for pedestrians and motorists entering the south end of our Downtown core,” said Lund, noting the planters will feature an assortment of trees, flowers and greenery along the pedestrian walkway.
As winter approaches, Lund adds that the new walking trail extension will be maintained throughout the season under the Town’s Snow and Ice Control Program. In 2020, the Town increased its service level by expanding snow clearing and ice control to seven days a week on Town roadways and walking trails throughout Ponoka.
Access to Trailer Parking Will Remain Open
Access to Hamilton’s IGA trailer parking and the Rising Sun Clubhouse recycling depot on the east side of 50 Street will remain open during construction of the walking trail extension along 50 Street.
Work is expected to begin on 50 Street this week, weather pending. During construction, lane reductions will occur along the south end of 50 Street. Motorists are reminded to please drive with caution in construction zones and observe road signs and traffic safety personnel. Citizens are also asked to please stay on the pathways to maintain a safe distance from the construction zone and equipment.
Virtual Tour of New Trail Extension on Town Website
To learn more about the new walking trail extension and to view a video of what it will look like, see below: