This winter, Bradford residents will be able to go for casual strolls without worrying about trudging through snow.
Hard-surfaced walkways will now be included in the town's winter operations plan, a motion that was endorsed by council last spring in an effort to promote a walkable, healthy community.
In last week's Committee of the Whole meeting at town council, councillors voted to endorse the plan as a working policy.
The town's winter maintenance program is updated every year. The program includes all sidewalks within the urban boundaries of Bradford and Bond Head, and some Priority 1 and 2 trails that are plowed, salted and sanded.
This year, the town has included enhanced winter maintenance of an additional 6.2 km of hard-topped trails, including:
- Green Valley
- Taylor Park
- Lions Park
- Storm Pond (Compton Crescent to Parkside north side) - with two gate upgrades
- Davey Lookout/Hydro Corridor - with six gate upgrades
- Solmar/Hydro Corridor - with four gate upgrades
- Summerlyn Valley Trail
- Westbrook Park
- Brookfield Park
- Legion Park
- Kuzmich Park
This is the first of two phases that will be implemented into the winter maintenance program. The second phase will be added to the 2022 town budget.
Phase 2 would include trails not designed to withstand the weight of a plow and requiring major upgrades. The estimated cost of Phase 2 is $554,560, including $317,556 in repairs needed for the Barrie Storm Pond trail, Legion Park trail, and a new DePeuter Park trail.
In determining which trails to include in Phase 1, staff looked at grade, the width needed to accommodate the maintenance equipment, open access for the equipment, and whether the trail provided a through route, with no dead ends.
The cost of Phase 1 in 2021 is estimated at $30,000, which includes the removal and replacement of gates and bollards for $10,000, and $20,000 to hire an additional operator late in 2021.
"The timing works out perfectly, it's nice to see that some of our hard surfaced pedestrian paths are going to be taken care of this year," said Coun. Peter Ferragine, who also sits on the Healthy Communities Advisory Committee. "That way people can still get out and do their walks and jogs in the wintertime."
The town's salt usage was down last year,
"That's a plus," said Joe Coleman, the town's manager of transportation. "Our salt domes are already full...we will probably be filling early in the year, but we have enough to get us through 2021," he said.
Mayor Rob Keffer thanked the staff for the report and their work.
"The residents expect good snow clearance and I'll put our town up against any other areas in getting our roads cleared...thanks for doing good work in the winter for us," he said.
To view the full plan, click here.