Bike lanes suggested as Canada 150 project

Monte Sonnenberg

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer

Norfolk’s senior staff would like to do something extra special for bicycle riders as part of the county’s participation in Canada’s 150th birthday celebration.


Ottawa has set aside $150 million for sesquicentennial projects now that Canada is a year away from marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

May 25, the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program signalled it would receive applications for a new round of infrastructure funding. Municipalities have till June 24 to submit applications.

Canada 150 is willing to fund worthwhile projects to a maximum of 50 per cent. However, program managers have stated a preference for projects asking the federal government for 33 per cent funding.

Norfolk’s senior management team met June 1 to hash out ideas. Senior managers settled on building 6.25 kilometres of bicycle lanes on both sides of Brantford Road between Church Street East in Delhi and Norfolk Road 9 (the Windham Centre Road).

If approved, the paved lanes will be popular with the many avid bicycle riders who live in the Delhi area. It will also be a hit with cyclists far and wide who converge on Delhi each summer for the annual Tour de Norfolk cycling event.

“This project is a good candidate as Brantford Road was reconstructed in 2009,” Norfolk treasurer John Ford says in a report to Norfolk council that will be taken up Tuesday night. “So the addition of the paved shoulders can proceed without the need to co-ordinate with other capital works.”

The estimated cost of building the bike lanes is $690,000. If the federal government comes through with funding, Norfolk’s share will be about $460,000. Ford recommends Norfolk fund its portion with a debenture.

Literature associated with the Canada 150 program says “Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation is a key milestone in our nationhood.

“It is an opportunity for Canadians to connect with our history, celebrate our diversity, honour our heritage, reflect on Canada’s achievements and build lasting legacies for the future. The overarching theme of Canada 150 is `Strong. Proud. Free.’ These three short words truly define and characterize our nation.”

Ford’s report will be considered at Tuesday’s meeting of Norfolk council. The meeting begins in the council chamber at Governor Simcoe Square at 5 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.