Entrance and exit to the new bridge, depending which way the foot traffic is headed, should be as attractive as the new feature itself.
With that in mind, Trail council is considering a phased in approach for landscaping and amenities on both sides of the Columbia River Skywalk.
So far, $140,000 has been approved to begin the plan, design and eventual tendering of the project with hard construction slated for completion later this year, and soft landscaping such as gardens, in 2017.
“Some of the landscaping costs will be absorbed in the bridge contract as Graham (Graham Infrastructure LP) is responsible for restoration on both sides of the bridge,” city engineer Warren Proulx reported to council last week, noting $50,000 from the budget has been allocated to date. “The total costs of the improvements are not known at this time and we will only proceed with the improvements covered in the bridge contact and the remaining amount in the 2016 capital budget landscape project.”
Proulx encouraged council to consider the Columbia River Skywalk as a major landmark in the city and region as well as an attraction on the country-wide Trans Canada Trail.
“Landscaping the bridge approaches connects to our downtown revitalization and wayfinding plans are a priority,” he concluded.
Nathan Lee of True Consulting attended the June 13 governance meeting as well, presenting further proposed landscaping ideas for East Trail and Rotary Park on the west side.
He suggested amenities such as benches, picnic tables and ornamental fencing then recommended safety measures such as roadway changes, curb extensions and road narrowing on the East Trail approach to McQuarrie Street.
Council requested a more in depth look at total costs and directed staff to bring the matter back to the table with options for completing the project in phases.