The Town of Coaldale broke ground on a project Thursday that aims to aid in connectivity in the area, for all forms of transportation.
The Pathway Expansion and Enhancement Project was allocated funding in 2019-2021 capital budget discussions by the town, and now Phase 1 is underway.
The first stage of the project will see the expansion of the town’s existing trail network, as well as the paving of more than 3.3 kilometers of trail, providing safe connectivity for cyclists, runners, rollerbladers and more.
“By providing more pedestrian-oriented modes in Coaldale, we hope to see more residents engaging in active lifestyles,” said Coaldale Mayor Kim Craig.
The central pathway will run along the St. Mary River Irrigation District’s (SMRID) canal.
Once complete, the pathway system will eventually connect Coaldale and Lethbridge along the SMRID, running through Lethbridge County all the way to Henderson Lake in Lethbridge.
The pathways connecting Lethbridge and Coaldale is known as the LINK Pathway and has been in the works since 2016. The pathway system would connect Henderson Lake Park in Lethbridge — via 10 Avenue S. and 43 Street — to the Birds of Prey Centre in Coaldale, through land owned by the SMRID.
“These aspects and elements of the pathway are really important to the connectivity of the town,” said Craig.
“By investing in greater amenities, we can improve the quality of life of our citizens and attract more economic growth. It’s also an amenity that lends itself to a variety of uses, and there’s no cost to enjoy it.”
The first phase of the project is expected to be completed sometime in the fall.