Rail trail detour expected to cause delays
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | August 31, 2017
County councillors and staff are concerned about cars travelling along the Haliburton County Rail Trail next month because of construction work on two bridges.
It will take about six minutes—at a maximum speed of 20 km/h—for motorists to take the 2.1-kilometre detour, according to Craig Douglas, director of public works.
“I’m certain that there are some people within the county that will be extremely unhappy to hear about this,” said Coun. Liz Danielsen during an Aug. 23 meeting.
Brent Devolin, county warden and reeve of Minden Hills, said he expects his phone will “light up.”
“We’re all concerned about how this is going to work,” admitted Douglas.
There are two one-lane bridges on Ritchie Falls in Minden that must undergo rehabilitation. The township has explored other options such as installing a temporary bailey bridge, but the trail ended up being the only possibility, reported Douglas.
The county will work with the township to open up the edges of the trail to allow drivers to pull over if they encounter an oncoming vehicle.
“We are currently performing some work on [the trail] to allow safe passage,” Travis Wilson, road superintendent for Minden Hills, told The Highlander.
This includes brushing about five feet on either side of the trail.
The county owns the trail and has outlined a few requirements the township must meet. For example, they have requested additional insurance coverage and that the township look after traffic control and safety.
Coun. Suzanne Partridge asked if the detour would be wide enough for emergency vehicles. Douglas said it will be.
The work, which will begin mid-September and is expected to take two to three weeks, to complete, said Wilson.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.