Sheri Regnier photo

Trail seeks funds to fix Groutage Avenue walkway

City applying to the Trust’s Community Outdoor Revitalization grant program

No matter the time of day, people are walking through Jubilee Park, now in full bloom, and onto the scenic Skywalk via Groutage Avenue.

Previous: Columbia River Skywalk turns 1

The popular riverside footpath may be in for a much deserved facelift, starting from the south-end ramp that comes off the existing esplanade and extending right to the pedestrian bridge walk-up.

First, however, the city is trying to garner financial backing from Columbia Basin Trust (Trust) through its Community Outdoor Revitalization grant program.

“The primary goal of the program is to create, restore or enhance welcoming, safe and vibrant outdoor multi-use community spaces that support community gathering and programming,” explained Trisha Davison, head of Trail’s recreation department. “In talking to Trust representatives, staff believes that the Groutage Avenue esplanade development would be the best suited project for this grant.”

The scope of work would include the development of the area between the south end of the esplanade and the west-side plaza, Davison said, ”to form a true connection between these two existing gathering spaces.”

Features would include artistic lighting improvements to enhance security and public safety, better ramp accessibility, bump out areas with bench seating, stamped concrete, and wayfinding signage.

“The goal would be to connect the two areas with a ‘like’ space that is safe, attractive and encourages people to gather,” said Davison.

The job is estimated at $350,000, with up to 75 per cent of eligible costs covered by the Trust program.

The deadline for submission is June 14. The city expects to hear back by the end of summer or early fall.

As far as a rundown apartment building located on the Groutage Avenue pathway, word has been circulating that the rental house is shutting down at the end of July.

This, however, was not part of the discussion at the May 27 governance meeting when council approved city staff to pursue Trust money for the project.

“Several discussions have occurred on the need to revitalize and connect the Esplanade area to the Columbia River Skywalk,” said Mayor Lisa Pasin. “We have only heard rumours regarding this matter … the Groutage Avenue Apartments are a privately owned structure. The city has not received any formal notification on the status of the Groutage Apartment building.”

This issue will unfold as it will, and the city will be notified when required by law or otherwise, the mayor continued.

“With privately owned buildings, the city is not required to be brought into the loop on operations with respect a building or any other matter,” she clarified.

“Many people assume the city is on the top of the list for notification at all times, and that is just not the case.”

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Groutage Avenue leading up to the Skywalk. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Groutage Avenue leading up to the Skywalk. (Sheri Regnier photo)

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