By Greg Price
With town residents still abuzz at the improvements in its own trail system near the Trout Pond, which officially opened this past week, the M.D. of Taber unveiled its plans for its trail system at a joint meeting between councils last month.
The Municipal District of Taber has continued working towards the Regional Walking Trail from the M.D. of Taber Park to the existing Town of Taber Trail.
The public tender process closed on June 25, where the trail will connect to the existing Town of Taber trail at the top of the river valley and will connect with the M.D. of Taber Park below.
The M.D. of Taber entered into a service agreement with an engineering consultant in November 2015 to provide engineering services for the project. The engineering consultant, the Town of Taber and M.D. of Taber had a completed design and cost estimates established, although at that time, the project was not scheduled for construction. In late 2017/early 2018, council opted to move the project forward.
“Council is obviously continuing to work towards this walking trail and we hope to see it built here shortly,” said Craig Pittman, public works superintendent for the M.D. of Taber. “Some of the information on the walking trail, it goes from the existing Town of Taber end of the trail, the one that goes past the cemetery there, and it will swing into Town of Taber land, back and around into the M.D. of Taber Park.”
The maximum grading of the trail will be 14 per cent.
“To put that into perspective, a wheelchair ramp is 12 per cent typically. So slightly steeper than a wheelchair ramp is the maximum gradient,” said Pittman.
There will also be a 2.5 metre finished paved width. The trail will be 372 metres in length, with a 5×5 metre rest area near the top which will include a bench and trash can.
“It’s a very nice view point from there, and we hope to install a as vandal-proof as possible bench and trash bins,” said Pittman. “As well, approximately 100 metres up the hill from the bottom, there will be another 2×4 metre rest area with another bench and trash can there as well. Both at the top and the bottom, as part of the contract, there will be lockable swing gates, so in the offseason when the snow on the trail becomes unsafe, it will easily be blocked off to the public.”