Residents forced to stop using a portion of Newfoundland T’Railway in Grand Falls-Windsor can now pass without worry.
Some users of the T’Railway had to find another route last week when they attempted to use the section that runs through the construction site of the soon-to-be new Kent store on Duggan Street.
According to Jeff Saunders, Grand Falls-Windsor’s director of engineering, the Town received calls from residents who were concerned when they were asked by contractors not to cross the site.
The T’Railway, which is used by many walkers, runners, bikers, and ATV users on a daily basis, runs across the island of Newfoundland where the old railway used to be. Now designated a provincial park, any business, municipality or individual interested in building over it must build a detour so it still connects with the other sections.
But Saunders said users have no reason to be concerned, as the approximately week-long block of that portion of the trail was a temporary measure. He said making sure the T’Railway stayed in tact was part of Kent’s contract, and they consulted with the Town and the Corduroy Brook Trail Association to come up with a solution for a permanent detour before they started working on the lot.
The detour, which Saunders said is just a quick turn from where the previous trail was and meets up with the rest of the T’Railway, is now ready for use.
“I think some people thought ‘oh they got that gone and it’s not coming back,’ but that’s not the case,” said Saunders. “And we probably didn’t get (the information) out there like we should have.”
While the new portion of trail is now accessible, the finished product, which will actually be an upgraded trail that is two meters wider than the old rail bed, will take a few months to be completed.
When residents started to express concern, the contractors expedited building a rough version of the detour so it would at least be accessible during the construction phase.
“Even with the construction, people were still scooting across the site, which was a (safety) concern,” said Saunders. “It’s certainly useable now, and will be upgraded as the summer moves along.”