July 3, 2012
PREMIER OFFICIALLY OPENS NEW DUFF ROBLIN PARKWAY TRAIL– – –
Floodway Trail to Link to Birds Hill Provincial Park, Commemorating Legacy of Former Manitoba Premier Duff Roblin
Premier Greg Selinger officially opened a new 52-kilometretrail network along the expanded Red River Floodway today, announcing the trail will be named the Duff Roblin Parkway Trail after former Manitoba premier Duff Roblin, the driving force behind the construction of the original Red River Floodway.
“Duff Roblin’s vision for the floodway included the eventual development of recreational amenities along the original diversion constructed under his leadership in the 1960s,” said Selinger. “Now that we’ve expanded the floodway to protect Winnipeg from a 1‑in‑700‑year flood, the time is right to move forward to realize that vision while honouring the man whose foresight has saved the province billions in damages and prevented immeasurable hardship for Manitobans. The Duff Roblin Parkway Trail runs the length of the floodway and links to family attractions such as the Trans Canada Trail and Birds Hill Provincial Park, to the soon-to-be-built Duff Roblin Provincial Park in St. Norbert.”
“The Duff Roblin Parkway is an innovative and unique addition to the network of trails that make up the Trans Canada Trail, the world’s longest and grandest recreational trail,” said David King, president of the Manitoba Recreational Trails Association. “The parkway will be part of a national jewel connecting all Canadians from the Pacific Ocean to the Arctic Ocean and to the Atlantic Ocean, and offers Manitobans exceptional recreation opportunities.”
“Rivers West is very pleased to have been involved in the floodway trail’s development since it was first conceptualized in 2004. Working with upwards of 45 stakeholders, Rivers West led consultations over the years on the recreational opportunities that could be incorporated into the floodway expansion project,” said Julie Turenne Maynard, executive director, Rivers West Red River Corridor Inc. “Today, we are very proud to a part of the official trail and pedestrian bridge opening. The trail system is one of the great legacies of the floodway expansion and will be an integral part of developing the Red River Corridor as a destination providing tourism, recreation and conservation opportunities for decades to come.”
“With the floodway expansion project achievingits goal of providing 1-in-700-year flood protection, we have had the opportunity to shift our focus toward creating a long-lasting recreational legacy for future generations,” said Ernie Gilroy, CEO of the Manitoba Floodway Authority. “The floodway has been recognized as one of the world’s great engineering marvels and with the opening of this new trail we can showcase this to other Manitobans and to visitors to our province.”
Approximately eight kilometres of the trail are asphalted while the remainder is granular. Future phases of the project will extend the currently paved section. The trail will support a wide variety of recreational activities including running, rollerblading, hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, while also serving as a service access road to the floodway.
Highlights of the floodway’s landscaping and recreational development initiative include:
The premier noted that the opening of the Duff Roblin Parkway Trail follows the recent announcement of the province’s three-year Active Transportation Action Plan, part of TomorrowNOW -Manitoba’s Green Plan. Major investments in active transportation infrastructure such as this are gradually creating a network of trails and paths across the province. Through Manitoba’s Active Transportation Action Plan, announced on Bike to Work Day on June 22, the province will continue to create the conditions for people to get out and get active.
In June 2008, the Manitoba Floodway Authority (MFA) retained the landscape architect and planning firm of Hilderman Thomas Frank Cram, leading a consortium of local firms including McKay Finnigan and Associates, MMM Group, Prairie Habitats Inc., Fort Whyte Alive, Number Ten Architectural Group and various tourism and economic development specialists, to consult recreational users, non-governmental organizations, local municipalities, and other organizations, as well as hold public open houses and develop an Opportunities Concept Plan (OCP). Based on previous studies, including a 2005 study undertaken by Rivers West Red River Corridor Inc., and subsequent discussions and investigations, the consultant finalized the OCP and submitted it to the MFA. Subsequently, based on the environmental conditions of the floodway, the MFA refined the OCP and implemented the landscaping and recreational plan. The estimated cost of the landscaping and recreation plan, including the pedestrian overpass bridge, is $10 million.
“The landscaping and recreational multi-year plan is based on the input we receive from recreational user groups and the general public,” said Gilroy. “A key consideration in the development of the overall recreational plan was to build upon existing opportunities while providing a basis for future potential use. As we move forward, we will continue to build upon this initiative ensuring that we enhance this valuable public asset.”
- 30 -
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ATTACHED
The Province of Manitoba is distributing this release on behalf of the Government of Manitoba and the Manitoa Floodway Authority.