Prairie Post (West Edition)

Cor Van Raay Link Pathway calls for public input on bike path between Lethbridge and Coaldale

- CONTRIBUTE­D

If you’re a walker, jogger, cyclist, or simply someone who loves nothing more than getting outside than you’ll be excited about this call for public input on the proposed Cor Van Raay Link Pathway between Lethbridge and Coaldale.

The pathway is a proposed paved 3-meter-wide bike path the connects the City of Lethbridge to the Town of Coaldale while passing through the scenic countrysid­e of Lethbridge County. Envisioned some 7 years ago by a group of visionary founders, the project made slow progress at first before gaining significan­t traction by the profession­al contributi­ons of Alvin Fritz Architects Inc, Edwards Land, MPE Engineerin­g, the Saint Mary River Irrigation District, Ignite LLP, Leonard Fast Law, and others. Momentum has also been growing with significan­t support from the three municipali­ties themselves, along with important financial donations, including a significan­t sponsorshi­p from the late Cor Van Raay.

It’s been a long road for the group to get to this point and many hurdles needed to be overcome.

“Finding and securing a final route for the project was the biggest obstacle.” says Chairperso­n Henry Doeve. “The Saint Mary’s Irrigation District has been staunchly supportive for the entire life of the project, and we’ve used their rightof-ways extensivel­y to find a workable route that respects the interests of people in the region to the greatest extent possible.”

The Committee has worked with the federal and provincial government­s to gain access across publicly owned lands in the region and now has a route to present to the public that uses irrigation right-of-ways, County-owned land, and government owned land for almost its entire length.

“I’m a farmer, and I can’t wait to see families biking along the path through the heart of southern Alberta’s heartland, learning about field crops and irrigation from signs that we put up, picnicking along the route, and enjoying all that our beautiful southern-Alberta home has to offer,” says George Lohues, Committee Member.

The Link Pathway is asking residents in the region to visit their website, read about the project, and submit feedback on it as they move forward for final constructi­on approval from Lethbridge County. (www. linkpathwa­y.org)

For us to start building this thing, Lethbridge County Council needs to review the whole project and then approve it. For that, we need public input, as much as possible!

“We need to know what you think so Council can make decisions with confidence,” adds Doeve.

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