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This article was published 21/8/2009 (4534 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The trail is the brainchild of Couns. Scott Fielding (St. James-Brooklands) and Grant Nordman (St. Charles). They say the path will offer their constituents an alternate east-west route through their wards, away from traffic-heavy Portage Avenue.
"Let's be honest -- there's no room for a bike path on Portage Avenue," said Nordman. "This is an alternative without the threat of being mixed in with Winnipeg Transit, 18-wheelers and family automobiles."
Lack of paths in the area was a common complaint the two heard on the campaign trail in the last civic election.
"People were telling us 'How is it that Charleswood and other parts of the city are getting these bike paths and we're not?'" Nordman said. "It wasn't high on the previous councillors' agendas so we made a move to make that happen."
"This is something people in St. James have been waiting for for a long time," Fielding added.
Both Fielding and Nordman fronted $100,000 each from their ward's parks budget, while the remaining $175,000 came from the City of Winnipeg's active transportation fund. The two councillors are also looking to obtain federal stimulus money to help pay for the project.
The trail will be paved in three separate phases -- roughly $400,000 per phase, Fielding said -- over the next three years.
"We're doing it in bite sizes as we can afford it," Nordman said.
Ground was broken on the asphalt trail's first phase three weeks ago at Hamilton Avenue and Silver Avenue near Sturgeon Creek. The path will be built up to Skatepark West at Sturgeon Road. Eventually, the trail will snake its way through city-owned property, including Murray Industrial Park, a strip near the airport and the Assiniboine Golf Course, until it reaches Polo Park.
Fielding and Nordman have dubbed the path the Yellow Ribbon Greenway Trail, to celebrate the Canadian Forces in St. James and St. Charles. St. James has been home to 17 Wing since 1922. The airforce base is one of the largest in the country, employing over 3,000 people.
"The name represents the proud tradition of military in the community," Fielding said. "We're very excited to honour them for their contributions to the community."