It seems likely that the 12 km stretch of the 77-km CP Trail north of Dundalk will be the last between Orangeville and Owen Sound to be upgraded.
Grey County received about $250,000 this year for stone dusting on the CP Rail Trail and cycling and trail signs from the federal and provincial governments.
That upgrading work has been done in pieces, going south from the trail end at East Bayshore Road in Owen Sound.
Dufferin County approved an $800,000 budget item in June to upgrade and put stone dust limestone on its share of the rail corridor up to Southgate border.
Grey County asked for and got COVID-19 resilience money which will be used to stone-dust as far south as possible – but not likely as far as Southgate.
Ms Wingrove told the Herald in July, “We are planning to stone-dust to the intersection of Road 180 and the CP Rail Trail in 2021. Road 180 is 1 concession north of the Grey Highlands/Southgate boundary. This leaves approximately 12 km remaining to do of the total 77 km CP Rail Trail.”
However, Grey County CAO Kim Wingrove told the Dundalk Herald in July that the county would be looking for funding opportunities.
If none were to be found, the project would be put into the budget for County council to consider, she said.
“It is a priority to stone-dust the remainder of the CP Rail Trail in the short-term,” she responded to a question from the Dundalk Herald about whether the missing link would be done in the short, medium or long-term.
The stone-dusting has been estimated to take about $10,000 per kilometre.
In June, Dufferin County approved a major $800,000 to upgrade its 38 km of CN Rail Trail, that will reach up to the Southgate border in Dundalk.
Within Dundalk itself, upgrades are planned for the block of the trail near the planned new medical centre when it is built. These changes will address safety as people will be crossing the path to get from the parking area to the medical centre building.
The Dufferin staff report said that its project aligns with Grey County work, where stone-dusting had been applied from Owen Sound to just south of Berkley, with plans to continue.
Depending on costs Grey was hoping orginally it could re-surface at least to Grey Road 4 or if the bids per km were low enough it could go perhaps to just past Dundalk in Southgate.
Previously, the work in Grey had been done in shorter sections, Ms Wingrove said.
“Over the past years we’ve been stone-dusting sections of the trail each year, starting from Owen Sound and heading south,” Ms Wingrove told the Herald. “This year based on the funding we received, we were able to take on a much longer section of trail than typically budgeted for.”
To finance its work, Dufferin County took about $670,000 from the wind turbine reserves, and the balance out of trails capital.
M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald