Sign alerts hiking bikers and picnickers to trail closure — for construction that ended nine years ago; beaver baffle battle baffles Metrolinx
Signs alerting hikers to closure of a popular Canmore trail say work on a $450-million bridge will be underway for seven years, without any signs warning of the decade-long closure.
Trail closures stretch for several kilometres, with marked signs warning that the O’Shaughnessy Trail along the west side of Pico Ranch Parkway, bordering Fort Macleod Park, was shut in August 2010, when a new bridge was completed over the Wolf Creek drainage.
Now, as construction workers pour concrete into the bridge’s foundation, questions remain about what’s been done to alert hikers about the decade-long closure.
“It appears that the signage around here is missing, and some of the hikers are not receiving the information that they need to know,” said Ron Jaworowski, director of communications for Metrolinx, the provincial agency overseeing the development of the project.
Metrolinx staff went out and checked the trailhead signage on Saturday and found it still being operated in an “unsecure manner,” Jaworowski said.
Until, Metrolinx “actually takes ownership” of the trail, construction work is not expected to be done for seven years, he said.
Metrolinx issued a joint news release from Beechwood Trails, Metrolinx and Alberta Forestry highlighting work on the bridge on Monday.
Construction work starts later this week and is expected to take seven years to complete, with traffic detours in place along the route during construction.
“Please be mindful of the traffic detours, which may be the most inconvenient time to use the trail,” the release warns.
The work on the new three-lane bridge is part of the widened Pico Ranch Parkway, which will connect to Bonavista Parkway, serving as a short cut into Fort Macleod Park.
The $450-million project is now in the third phase of construction, with more bridges and stairs being constructed.
When complete, the new highway will include eight lanes of traffic, 10 bridges and four sidewalks.
Prior to the completion of the project, up to 400,000 vehicles a day could use the existing four-lane Pico Ranch Parkway. The new route will save 12 kilometres of driving time.
Once complete, parking spaces at the construction sites will also be expanded to accommodate construction crews and commuters.