Fairmont Hot Springs will see construction begin on a new bike and walking path in early spring of 2017. The new path project is being spearheaded by the Fairmont Community Association to provide safer pathways through the community.
“The non-vehicular traffic on Fairmont Hot Springs streets to get to and from the business area is phenomenal. We have timeshares on Mountainside, timeshares on Riverside, and a RV park at Spruce Grove. People walk back and forth from these areas every day; in addition local people walk the streets as well,” said Fairmont Community Association president Tex Deagnon.The pathway will stretch over 2.1 kilometres from Fairmont Resort Road south down to the river. The walkway will then meet with a footpath already constructed on the southeast side of the bridge.
“We have put in one culvert to come off the bridge footpath onto the old highway where it is going to hookup. We’re going to put extensions to the culverts on Coldstream in September. As the monies come available the program will be full swing in the spring,” said Deagnon.The Fairmont Community Association (FCA) estimates the project to cost $210,000 and received $15,000 towards the project from the Regional District of East Kootenay.
“I am pleased that the RDEK board supported $15,000 towards this project. This trail will encourage non-motorized traffic to use the trail instead of walking on the road,” said RDEK Area F Wendy Booth in an email.The money RDEK put forward to the project comes from leftover funds from a previous trail project from the Fairmont and Area Roads and Trails Society (FARTS).
“At about the same time, Wendy Booth came to the FCA stating there were monies left over from the FARTS program that never fully materialized. ‘Would the FCA be interested in taking it over?’ Of course, great! This got the FCA plan under way with Neil Kyle as chair person,”said Deagnon.
Fairmont Community Association will be conducting fundraisers and applying for grants to cover the additional cost of the project. The pathway will be a three-phase process with the next two phases being the addition of extending the path off Hot Springs Road up towards timeshares on Mountainside Road. From there, the project will look at including a path off the lodge and then move into the final phase. Stage three of the project is the creation of a safer system to get people across the highway to the business sector. The Fairmont Community Association will look at working with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to create a safe overpass or crossing system for the highway.The new bike and walking pathway is expected to be completed by July 2017 provided funding goals are met and construction can begin in early spring.