Not many topics land on Trail council’s table month after month after month – but this one has. So hopefully, the third time and ninth design, is the charm.
Work is again underway in the drop off area of the Trail Memorial Centre (TMC). After considering numerous proposals and respective budgets to make the zone more friendly to visitors with mobility issues, in August, council chose to install a concrete ramp at the top end of the driveway.
Installation began in October and the $38,000 project was indeed complete the following month. But there was still a problem with ingress, and that is the one currently being dealt with.
“The previous ‘ramp’ was unfortunately installed with a lip/step such that it limited the ability for a person in a wheelchair to gain access,” explains Trail Mayor Mike Martin. “It was done in this way to create a level landing area. This is being changed.”
Cement was poured on Wednesday and the smoother ramp transition is expected to be ready for use by the weekend.
“In addition, the city will be re-configuring the front of the TMC,” Martin said. “Besides the loading zone, the city will designate three parking stalls as handicap, including a spot in front of the Smoke Eater entrance that will provide for a level landing area and make it more convenient for people with disabilities.”
By the time present changes are complete, the project will likely near or surpass $40,000.
“It most likely will be exceeded due to the issue with the first install and the decision to move away from the engineered design, ” added Martin.
The project was considered a priority after TMC visitors, including Smoke Eater fans, reported difficulty accessing the building after the facility’s reconfiguration to improve pedestrian and vehicular safety back in 2013.
Ongoing discourse had the matter back on council’s governance table in early February.
After considering a number of options, eight in all, Trail officials agreed to move the drop off location closer to the front entrance, thereby lessening the slope to exit a vehicle while providing quick and level access to the existing sidewalk.