The Wagon Road will see an upgrade after the City of Rossland was awarded an economic resiliency grant. Photo: Jim Bailey

The Wagon Road will see an upgrade after the City of Rossland was awarded an economic resiliency grant. Photo: Jim Bailey

Rossland secures grant for Wagon Road upgrade

Rossland to receive over $132,000 to complete first stage of South Kootenay Green Links Trail

The City of Rossland is leading the way on the South Kootenay Green Links Trail project.

The Golden City has been resilient throughout the pandemic and is one of many recipients of a grant from the Community Economic Resiliency stream.

The city will receive over $132,000 to complete the first stage of the South Kootenay Green Link improvement project.

“We’re really excited about that,” said Rossland Mayor Kathy Moore. “It’s the absolute first step in the project and we’re starting small, just the section that starts in Rossland and goes down Esling Drive to Redstone Drive.”

The funds provided by the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP) will go toward improving a 700-metre section of the rough Wagon Road and facilitate active travel between the communities.

The multi-use trail will accommodate cyclists and commuter style electric bikes, while creating an off-highway connection of the Redstone neighbourhood and downtown Rossland.

The updated trail will also provide a scenic pathway for walkers and joggers.

“Making a commuter trail makes for healthier employees and reduces our carbon footprint,” added Moore.

The initiative is another step for Rossland to reach its goal of 100 per cent renewables by 2050 and advance its strategic planning goals.

The ultimate plan is to see a green link trail stretch from Rossland to Fruitvale and possibly beyond.

Representatives from Greater Trail municipalities and potential partners met last month in an effort to make the trail a reality.

“Each community is at a very different stage of planning,” said Trail Mayor Lisa Pasin at Feb. 8 council. “Our route would be all paved roads, so we’d be looking primarily at signage to direct those who are intested in using bikes for this green route in order to facilitate safe transport.”

There are bike racks beside the FortisBC building and the public library, yet, downtown Trail is not especially bicycle-friendly when it comes to dedicated bike paths, storage, or safety.

However, the Green Links meeting encouraged attendees to consider unique ways to make their municipalities more active and eco-friendly.

“I wondered if there was a way that we could incorporate decorative bike racks, which is a different way of incorporating city art, in a cost effective way, to advance not only potentially this green link trail, an opportunity to bike and have their bikes safely tied to bike racks,” said Pasin.

CERIP is a $100-million provincially funded umbrella program, which is providing a one-time infrastructure funding grants to communities province wide.

Through the CERIP’s Community Economic Resilience stream, the Province invested $30 million to fund 63 small-scale public-use infrastructure projects throughout B.C.

The grants support economic resilience, tourism, heritage and urban and rural economic development projects.

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