Exploring Saskatoon’s WCMUC Expansion Part 1.

Amongst the progress of the Bus Rapid Transit, Downtown Cycling Network and the rest of Saskatoon’s Growing Forward Plan, a fairly significant new active transportation plan in the city has flown under the radar: the West-Central Multi-Use Corridor Expansion (WCMUC).

The city has been applying for project money from the federal Rail Safety Improvement Program. One of the requested projects was the ‘Safety Pathway’ program, which details the expansion of the rail-line adjacent WCMUC from Avenue D and 23rd Street all the way to Ave. W and 11th Street. This year, the city received the money from the federal government and will try and complete the project by 2020.

This is great get for the city. The WCMUC expansion is not only a wonderful addition to the active transportation infrastructure of the city but it is almost free to Saskatoon taxpayers. The federal government is covering 80% of the $1.5M cost of the pathway and the rest will come from already budgeted active transportation money.

Follow Walking Saskatoon in the coming couple of weeks as we do a video walkthrough of the projected route and talk about the challenges and opportunities facing the pathway project.

Excerpts of the admin report to council are below:

Rail Safety Improvement Program Project

  • ReportOn April 26, 2018, the City received notification that the Safety Pathway project was approved for funding. The Safety Pathway project is to provide an illuminated multi-use pathway between Avenue D and Avenue W. It is a three kilometre multi-use path adjacent to the Canadian Pacific rail line that will connect the City of Saskatoon’s westerly neighbourhoods to the Downtown area. It aims to eliminate pedestrian and cyclist trespassing on rail right-of-way with a pathway and fencing. In addition, the design of the Safety Pathway incorporates the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles which can help make the pathway less susceptible to crime and enable people to feel more comfortable. Features such as illumination, signage, way-finding, benches, and garbage cans near street entrances will improve the territoriality and image of the Safety Pathway, and promote usage of the dedicated path.Public and/or Stakeholder InvolvementDiscussions are currently underway on the design of the Safety Pathway with the Canadian Pacific Railway.As the design progresses, the Administration will engage the community and impacted stakeholders to provide information and obtain input into certain aspects of the design. The details of this engagement are under development.

Page 2 of 3

Rail Safety Improvement Program Project

Financial Implications

The estimated cost of the Safety Pathway is $1,464,900 of which the RSIP will fund up to 80% of eligible costs. The City’s portion, $293,000, will be funded from prior approved funding from the Active Transportation Reserve.

Capital Project #2550 – West/Central Multi-Use Corridor has existing funding of $181,000 that will be used to partially fund the City’s portion of this project. In addition, CP #2550 will be increased by $1,283,900 of which $1,171,900 is funded from the RSIP and $112,000 is funded from the Active Transportation Reserve.

Due Date for Follow-up and/or Project Completion

The Safety Pathway Project is expected to be completed by March 2020.

The full report, in PDF form, is here: Admin Report on Rail Safety Improvement Projects