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Legacy Trail connection gets green light for 2015

The final connection of the Legacy Trail in Banff is on the capital books for 2015.

The final connection of the Legacy Trail in Banff is on the capital books for 2015.

Banff council has approved spending $350,000 next year for construction of a new section of trail and a formal crossing at the east entrance to the townsite this year.

“I am super excited about this. We knew that there may be additional costs to the Legacy Trail,” said Councillor Stavros Karlos at the Jan. 20 capital budget meeting. “This gets us something really nice at the entrance to town. This trail is extremely well used; it’s in excess of 1,000 riders a day in the summer months.”

The Town of Banff has been working with Parks Canada on the potential to add a new crossing at the end of the trail, as well as a new section of trail on the north side of Banff Avenue. Both would require a licence of occupation from the federal agency because the land is just outside the town boundary.

Town officials say continuation of the Legacy Trail on Banff Avenue from its termination at Marmot Crescent is a missing piece in both the connection to downtown Banff and the connection for cyclists wanting to travel west to the junction of Highway 1A towards Lake Louise.

They say westbound riders currently need to either illegally cross at the end of the trail, where there is no formal crossing, or walk their bikes along the existing sidewalk to the crossing at Marmot Crescent.

“It will also include landscaping on both sides and a median to help with traffic calming,” said Chris Hughes, Banff’s senior accountant.

Coun. Grant Canning said the project will add to the welcoming image at the east entrance.

“Safety considerations are also a big part of this,” he said.

At the west entrance to town along Norquay Road, work continues on that portion of the Legacy Trail.

The $425,000 project is on budget and the trail portion has been completed, with the bridge design for Forty Mile Creek also substantially finished. The bridge is expected to be installed by spring and the trail completed by summer.

Rocky Mountain Outlook

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