Iron Horse Trail undergoes facelift

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Photo by Sharan Rana

The Iron Horse Trail will be undergoing an estimated $4.1 million renovation beginning this Spring. All renovations are expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

The Iron Horse Trail provides a scenic and historical trail connecting the cities of Waterloo and Kitchener along a former railway passage way. The Iron Horse Trail is located between Erb Street West in Waterloo and Ottawa Street in Kitchener.

The upgrade of the trail includes widening of the trail from 2.4 metres to 3.6 metres, added lighting throughout the path and road crossing improvements.

The first phase of the renovations will be the central section which is the most popular section, located between Victoria Street and Queen Street and awarded $1.7 million.

The second phase is on the north section which stretches between Gage Street and Glasgow Street which will cost around $2.65 million and begin in 2019.

“Construction will begin in the spring of this year and targeting to finish at about July so approximately two to three months of construction for the first part of the central area,” Mark Parris, a landscape architect for Kitchener, said.

The upcoming work will be widening the pedestrian island on Queen Street North and improve the crossing at Victoria Street and West Avenue to make crossing through the intersections safer.

The upcoming renovations are to upgrade the infrastructure and to bring the trail up to the Iron Horse Improvement strategy standards that were put forth in 2015.

“It is a primary corridor highly used for local residents of the city and it’s a very critical corridor that connects Uptown Waterloo to Downtown Kitchener and the unionship reflects that too, I would say for that reason it is an important reconstruction project,” Parris said.

The Iron Horse Trail is 5 and a half kilometres and connects Waterloo park to Victoria Park and Uptown Waterloo to Downtown Kitchener.

Improvements proposed will be looking at increasing safety of the trail especially concerning the larger intersections the trail passes through.

Improving signage and pedestrian road crossings is a concern for not only the city but also an improvement trail users have advocated for.

In addition to the Iron Horse Trail there are 12 other trails within the region and 13 including Iron Horse Trail. A few of the trails

with close proximity to Lauriercampus are the Uptown loop,

RIM Park Trails and Laurel Trail. The trails provide both scenic and metropolitian views for users of the trails.

The upcoming work will be widening the pedestrian island on Queen Street North and improve the crossing at Victoria Street and West Avenue to make crossing through the intersections safer.

“The [first] completion is just one of the three sections that we’re doing and all of that will be complete by the end of 2019 and the City is very excited for it,” Parris said.

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