The West Bragg Creek Trail (WBCT), which is part of the TransCanada Trail (TCT) in Rocky View County (RVC), links the Hamlet of Bragg Creek with the West Bragg Creek trails in Kananaskis Country. The TCT is now officially known as “The Great Trail (TGT)”.
The Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association (GBCTA) Board of Directors has approved the paving of a portion of the TGT/WBCT for 2.5 km from Bracken Road in the Hamlet of Bragg Creek going west to Range Road 52 (RR52).
The GBCTA has raised the necessary capital funding ($322,000) for this paving project from the TransCanada Trail Foundation ($122,000), Rocky View County ($100,000) and the Alberta Government Community Facilities Enhancement Program ($100,000). We wish to thank all our donors for their generous contributions.
The GBCTA requested public feedback in August 2020 on the proposed paving of a portion of the WBCT. Thank you to everyone who participated. We received strong support for the paving however a small number of respondents stated a preference to keep the current trail as a gravel surface. We also received a few questions, which we have addressed in this article.
The anticipated benefits of paving the WBCT include improving public access and safety which minimizes the potential risk of traffic/pedestrian accidents on the adjacent West Bragg Creek roadway. There are several potential trail users (walkers, runners, and cyclists) who choose to use the narrow adjacent paved road shoulder instead of the WBCT. The paving will provide a smooth tread surface for all trail users to improve the overall trail experience and increase trail use. This will be particularly beneficial for families, youth, children, disabled and seniors. Paving the WBCT will also reduce trail maintenance costs in areas related to weed/vegetation control and gravel tread repairs.
This popular section of the WBCT is used by approximately 12,000 trail users per year based on 2020 trail counter data and the trend is rising.
The paving work will be completed in accordance with RVC Servicing Standards by a reputable paving company under the direction of a qualified engineering firm.
The GBCTA also plans to increase and improve snow removal operations on the WBCT this coming winter. We have secured additional operations/maintenance funding from RVC to help fund this work but would also welcome trail user donations to enhance our operations abilities on this trail. If you’d like to donate you may do so here.
The GBCTA currently has no plans to pave the remaining WBCT west of RR52 to Kananaskis Country. The GBCTA will monitor public use and response to the current paving as to whether the anticipated benefits are realized. We also need to complete some upgrades to the remaining WBCT to address drainage/water issues that have arisen since the 2017 construction, before paving would even be feasible.
We sincerely hope trail users enjoy this major upgrade to the trail that helps connect our community while improving public safety and providing numerous other benefits.
The GBCTA will provide an update on the TGT/WBCT pedestrian bridge project in our next article.
Eric Lloyd, Director & Special Projects Coordinator (volunteer)
On Behalf of the GBCTA Board of Directors