The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said improvements to the Galloping Goose Regional Trail that are part of the McKenzie interchange project will “be fully completed this fall,” without giving a more precise date.
A spokesperson for the ministry offered that timeline after concerns about the timing behind the restoration of the trail.
The ministry spokesperson said construction of the proposed sound wall between the trail and highway is ongoing, with two retaining walls, fencing and landscaping to be completed prior to paving of the actual trail.
Paving will be the last work done on the trail to ensure a smooth finish and no damage from construction equipment, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the ministry is ensuring the safety of trail users with temporary fencing and the use of flag persons when active work occurs near the trail. Crews will give trail users advance notice if continued construction requires detours, the spokesperson said.
The province announced earlier this month that the project is $11 million over budget, with the final pricetag now coming in at $96 million, with construction running into 2020, long past the original target date of fall 2018.
Cited reasons for the budget increase include design modifications, additional environmental management, and schedule delays due to winter weather and efforts to lessen traffic and noise impacts.
The project itself aims to improve traffic flow, and includes several elements that promise to improve cycling. They include a new pedestrian/bicycle bridge over McKenzie Avenue.