Photo by Jake Boudrot The Town of Port Hawkesbury is proceeding with a $2.2 million project to connect more streets and neighbourhoods via walking trails.

PORT HAWKESBURY: The town has announced an ambitious project to connect streets, roads and trails.

During its committee of the whole meeting last month, town council announced the $2.2 Connector Connect Port Hawkesbury project.

Mayor Brenda Chishom-Beaton said this is a series of smaller connector projects rolled into one broader project to join together different parts of the town using walking trails.

“It’s all about connecting our town, particularly parts of our town that presently aren’t well connected or have safe, active transportation or multi-modal connectors,” she explained.

The mayor said one project aims to connect the Killam residential area on Trunk #4 to Reeves Street. Another connects the Active Transportation trail at the community park with MacQuarrie Drive Extension. Then the town is planning to connect the boardwalk on the waterfront to the Granville Street green space. There will also be improvements to the Queen Street intersection to Queen Street on Trunk 4.

The final project is continuing the Active Transportation trail from NSCC along Reeves Street to the Old Sydney Road.

“There is an existing trail that is used now that connects Old Sydney to Tamarac residential area,” the mayor stated. “We’ll also be looking at a smaller project that will see that trail resurfaced and rejuvenated.”

Chisholm-Beaton said the projects will be done in phases over a four to five-year period.

Chief Administrative Officer Terry Doyle said, depending on approval from the federal government, the town is hoping to start by April.

“Every year we have an implementation stage and a design stage,” he explained. “In the first year, starting in April, we’ll be looking at designs for the Tamarac connection which is the resurfacing, actually making accessible, the upgrading of that Tamarac connection off Old Sydney Road. As well as design on the MacQuarrie Drive extension, connecting our playground, and one phase of the waterfront connector project.”

In the second year, the CAO said there will be implementation of the MacQuarrie Drive extension project. In the year after that, it will be the waterfront connection, then another project in the following year.

Doyle said there is funding from the provincial and federal governments for the projects, with the mayor explaining that the project is still under consideration by the feds.

To be considered by the federal government, Chisholm-Beaton said the town had to approve a motion during a special meeting. She added this is a very important project for the town, especially in light of the need to stay active and healthy during the global pandemic.

“The end result is for Port Hawkesbury to be walkable and accessible for all ages and all abilities, and we want every part of our town to be connected in a way that accommodates people,” she added. “We’re really excited about the project.”