Kelly's Brook Shared-Use Path

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Two benches beside a gravel trail facing a grassy field

Update: This project has moved to construction phase (Oct. 2023) - check out the documents, schedule and updated FAQs for details.

Kelly's Brook Shared-Use-Path is the first catalyst project coming from the Bike St John's Master Plan. The shared-use path will extend from King's Bridge Road to Columbus Drive. It is mostly in place as a granular walking trail today, linking several neighbourhoods through an important east-west greenway that largely parallels Empire Avenue (between King's Bridge Rd and Carpasian Rd, the route will be along Empire Ave). Its goal is to provide an attractive and continuous 4.8 km recreation corridor and active transportation city-centre route, connecting popular destinations and amenities along the way. The shared-use path is proposed for people of all ages and abilities, using all forms of active transportation, including walking, running, biking, and rolling.

The City of St. John's engaged a highly qualified team of professionals to complete the detailed design of the shared-use path while working closely with city staff. The design team provided a series of public engagement opportunities for residents and stakeholders to share their input to inform design decisions around elements such as lighting, surface materials, path alignment, trailhead and rest areas, wayfinding, and other features that emerge during the process.

Update: This project has moved to construction phase (Oct. 2023) - check out the documents, schedule and updated FAQs for details.

Kelly's Brook Shared-Use-Path is the first catalyst project coming from the Bike St John's Master Plan. The shared-use path will extend from King's Bridge Road to Columbus Drive. It is mostly in place as a granular walking trail today, linking several neighbourhoods through an important east-west greenway that largely parallels Empire Avenue (between King's Bridge Rd and Carpasian Rd, the route will be along Empire Ave). Its goal is to provide an attractive and continuous 4.8 km recreation corridor and active transportation city-centre route, connecting popular destinations and amenities along the way. The shared-use path is proposed for people of all ages and abilities, using all forms of active transportation, including walking, running, biking, and rolling.

The City of St. John's engaged a highly qualified team of professionals to complete the detailed design of the shared-use path while working closely with city staff. The design team provided a series of public engagement opportunities for residents and stakeholders to share their input to inform design decisions around elements such as lighting, surface materials, path alignment, trailhead and rest areas, wayfinding, and other features that emerge during the process.

  • Construction Resumes on Kelly’s Brook Trail

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    Construction has resumed on Kelly’s Brook Trail between Guy Street and Newtown Road, and will continue eastward from Newtown Road to Carpasian Road through the 2024 construction season.

    This multi-year construction project began in November 2023 and is anticipated to be completed by 2025. Future phases will see construction on sections from Guy Street to Columbus Drive, and Kings Bridge Road to Carpasian Road. The project involves upgrading a disconnected gravel trail to a continuous paved shared-use path with lighting and improved street crossings.

    Kelly’s Brook Trail will remain open to pedestrian traffic during construction. Portions of the trail may be diverted and/or detoured at times to facilitate construction work. Traffic delays and lane reductions are also expected throughout the project at locations where Kelly’s Brook Trail crosses City streets. These disruptions will be communicated throughout the project.

  • Construction begins on Kelly's Brook Shared Use Path

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    This multi-year construction project is set to begin on November 6, 2023. The first phase of construction will begin in the vicinity of Kelly’s Brook Park between Newtown Road and Guy Street this fall. Work will carry over into the 2024 season extending along Kelly’s Brook Trail between Carpasian Road and Guy Street. Future phases will see construction on sections from Guy Street to Columbus Drive, and Kings Bridge Road to Carpasian Road. It is anticipated that work will be completed in 2025.

    The project involves upgrading a disconnected gravel trail to a continuous paved shared-use path with lighting and improved street crossings. An Arborist is involved to ensure that landscape plans, removals, replanting, transplanting and tree protection along the project route are completed according to industry best practices.

    The shared-use path will improve accessibility and safety. It will be three meters wide and will provide a space that can be used by all active transportation modes, enabling people to get around the city by walking, running, cycling, scooting, strolling, wheeling or rolling. This path is designed to connect to other active transportation routes, enhancing connectivity and providing people with more ways to get around the City.

    Kelly’s Brook Trail will remain open to pedestrian traffic during construction. Portions of the trail may be diverted and/or detoured at times to facilitate construction work. Traffic delays and lane reductions are also expected throughout the project at locations where Kelly’s Brook Trail crosses City streets. These disruptions will be communicated throughout the project.

    This project was identified as an action in the City’s strategic plan, Our City, Our Future. We are committed to expanding and maintaining a safe and accessible active transportation system as we build a balanced transportation network to get people and goods where they want to go safely.


  • Update on tendering and construction

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    Kelly’s Brook trail was identified as the top priority project emerging from the 2019 Bike St. John’s Master Plan.

    Although the City had hoped to be tendering Phase 1 of construction this spring, realignments and modifications to the project (resulting from the extensive public engagement process) as well as increased market costs for construction have changed the scope and value of this project. Due to the increase in the estimated costs for Kelly’s Brook Share-Use Path, the City is meeting with federal and provincial partners to determine the best program to fund this work, which means that tendering and construction of the Kelly’s Brook trail may be delayed until 2023.

    The Project
    Intended to be a shared-use pathway, the project consists of upgrading the existing walking trail from Kings Bridge Road to Columbus Drive to a continuous 4.8 km path, linking several neighbourhoods through an important east-west greenway that largely parallels Empire Avenue. It will support active transportation and encourage people of all ages and abilities to walk, stroll, roll or cycle. This comfortable route with highly visible street crossings is expected to increase cycling ridership, build support for further bike network growth and support transportation equity by filling gaps in current public transit coverage.

    The original estimate for this project from the 2019 Bike St. John’s Master Plan was $2.5M. The City was successful in securing funding through the Invest in Canada Infrastructure (ICIP) Program.

    Engagement and Modifications
    In November 2020, a consultant was hired to complete the engineering design and conduct public engagement.

    From December 2020 through February 2021, residents and stakeholder groups were invited to share their perspectives, ideas, and concerns about Kelly’s Brook Shared-Use Path through several engagement activities, including a focus group, virtual information sessions, meetings with advisory committees, mapping and idea tools on engagestjohns.ca, an online survey, and a meeting with Empire Avenue residents on the proposed road alignment portion of the path. Thousands of individuals engaged in this process, and the feedback has been used to inform design decisions around elements such as lighting, surface materials, path alignment, trailhead and rest areas, wayfinding, and other features.

    Throughout the design process, challenges identified with the alignment specifically along the section East of Carpasian Road required the scope of the project to be broken into two phases. Phase I includes Carpasian Road heading West to Columbus Drive and Phase II includes Carpasian Road heading East to King’s Bridge Road. Some sections of existing trail will be relocated to avoid steep grades and tight turns and to improve accessibility; the existing trail will be widened to 3.0 metres; and some sections of the route will be installed along street corridors.

    The scope of the construction work includes clearing and grubbing, removing existing trail surface, removing and replacing fencing, fill and grading, installing a new asphalt trail surface, and reinstating the trail edge. The project includes the construction of rest areas, trailheads, signage, wayfinding, landscaping and lighting along the path.

    New Cost Estimates Mean City Must Seek New Funding Programs to Proceed
    The consultant was asked to focus on the Phase I section in 2021. This design package is 95% complete and was expected to be ready for tender for Spring 2022. However, given current market conditions the estimate for Phase I scope of work is now estimated to be $4.9M, of which, $1.4 M is required for the lighting. Phase 2 (Carpasian Rd to Kings Bridge Rd) is estimated at $2M, for a total project estimate of $6.9M.

    For projects of this size and scope, the City relies on funding from both the federal and provincial governments; funding programs such as the ICIP match or double the municipality’s contributions, so they make this work possible.


  • What we Heard document released

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.


    Visual overview of what we heard regarding user friendly features


    The ‘What We Heard’ (WWH) document summarizing feedback from the Kelly’s Brook Shared-Use Path public engagement process is now available.

    From December 2020 through February 2021, residents and stakeholder groups were invited to share their perspectives, ideas, and concerns about Kelly’s Brook Shared-Use Path through several engagement activities, including a focus group, virtual information sessions, meetings with advisory committees, mapping and idea tools on engagestjohns.ca, an online survey, and a meeting with Empire Avenue residents on the proposed road alignment portion of the path. Feedback on shared use and input to inform design decisions around elements such as lighting, surface materials, path alignment, trailhead and rest areas, wayfinding, and other features were collected throughout the process.

    During the engagement process there were 3,440 unique visits to the this project page, 822 responses to the online survey, 346 visitors to the interactive pathway map, and 89 attendees in total at the virtual information sessions.

    A few key themes emerged from the public consultation process including:

    • Accessibility and inclusivity considerations
    • Shared use and the safety for all users is imperative
    • The importance of safety in lighting, design, sight lines and intersections
    • Preserving nature and natural aspects of the trail
    • Preferred routes for pathway alignments
    • Usability, durability, and environmental considerations
    • Pathway surface material concerns including a focus on accessibility, traction, safety when freezing, maintenance, year-round use and comfort under foot

    The WWH is being presented to Council along with surface material considerations at Committee of the Whole on Wednesday, March 24. Check out the full agenda for the meeting here.

  • Surface Material Technical Memo

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    The City's project consultants have prepared a technical evaluation of surface options looking at criteria such as: durability, maintenance, construction and lifecycle costs, accessibility, surface erosion, and environmental sustainability. The document is available here. For a visual summary of the surface comparisons check out this document.

    This memo will be presented to Council along with a What we Heard (through the engagement process) document in the coming weeks to inform decisions around this project. If you would like to provide additional feedback on the surface options as outlined in the memo, please do so in the comments section below.


  • Public engagement kicks off

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    The public consultation process for Kelly’s Brook Shared-Use Path is now underway. A variety of engagement tools will be used to consult with residents and the city’s advisory committees until February 21.

    Public Workshops

    Sign up for one of our live virtual public workshops on Tuesday afternoon, February 16 or Thursday evening, February 18 to learn more about this project and share your ideas on what will make this pathway user-friendly for all.

    Survey

    Complete the online survey here.

    Focus group option

    If you are a current or potential trail user and are interested in helping the project team prepare for the public workshops please email engage@stjohns.ca with your name, street address, number of people in your household, age, and primary concern related to Kelly's Brook Shared-Use Path. The focus group session will take place Wednesday, February 10 at 6 p.m. Deadline to apply is Friday, February 5. The City thanks all those interested, however only 10 participants can be selected.


    For more information or to share your ideas over the phone, please contact Access St. John’s by calling 311 or 709-754-CITY (2489).


    Update on river section of Trail

    Since announcing plans for the Kelly’s Brook Shared-Use Path, staff and council have been listening closely to public feedback and the project team has collected important data in the area of the trail to the rear of Winter Avenue. This area overlaps with the planned Rennies River flood mitigation berm. Based on the impacts a combined berm and widened trail would have in this segment, Council has revised the plan for this project and will no longer pursue a path alignment that follows the river’s edge between King’s Bridge Road and Portugal Cove Road. Given that the path behind St. Pat's Ball Park along Kelly's Brook between Rennies Mill Road and Carpasian Road is also not feasible, staff concluded that the Kelly’s Brook Shared-Use Path will need to follow a roadside alignment east of Carpasian Road. This new routing comes with significant obstacles, such as utility poles, on-street parking or travel lane reductions, and intersection alignments. Because of these obstacles, engaging with property owners and residents along these segments of Empire Avenue is critical to moving this plan forward.

    The Kelly’s Brook Shared-Use Path project is just one of several catalyst and backbone projects identified in the Bike St. John’s Master Plan. Changes to the Rennies River Trail and Virginia River Trail, for example, are recommended in the plan but these trails are not currently under consideration and are not part of the Kelly’s Brook Shared-Use Path. Council is committed to focusing on accessibility for the full length of the project.

  • Councillor Dave Lane Responds to Bike Plan Concerns

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    http://stjohns.ca/media-release/councillor-dave-lane-responds-bike-plan-concerns

    In recent days residents of St. John’s have raised concerns about the Bike St. John’s Master Plan and upgrades to Kelly’s Brook Trail. As Council’s representative for the Bike St. John’s Advisory Committee I would like to take this opportunity to address these concerns.

    It is crucial that the pubic understand that our intent is not to destroy the incredible natural surroundings of our beautiful trails. Throughout the design and consultation process for these trail upgrades, there will be careful attention paid to the environment, wildlife habitat and impact on neighborhoods.

    Future engagement opportunities are being planned, specifically as it relates to trail design and you still have time to participate in that process.

    PAVED TRAILS ARE STANDARD FOR ACCESSIBILITY

    The goal of our Bike Plan is to enhance and upgrade a few existing trails so that they are accessible for everybody in our community to safely use and enjoy.

    The current recommendation to pave Kelly’s Brook trail has many facets but the most important is accessibility. A final decision about trail surface material hasn’t been made yet and this topic will be explored through the public engagement process.

    Ultimately, the trail will provide much more accessibility to residents and will not be limited to cycling. Shared use paved trails are standard in cities world-wide and are constructed to be inclusive for everyone. These trails aim to create a shared space for walkers, cyclists, people who use scooters and wheelchairs, and families who use strollers - all residents deserve to have the opportunity to use our city trails.

    BIKE ST. JOHN’S MASTER PLAN

    The intent of the City’s Bike Master Plan is to enable and encourage more people to choose active transportation in their lives, specifically bicycles. On May 29, 2019, the City released the Bike St. John’s Master Plan to the public after an extensive public engagement process.

    The cycling network presented in the plan represents a set of comfortable, connected, convenient, and attractive routes. The network highlights three catalyst projects recommended for early implementation with Kelly’s Brook Trail being the first project.

    KELLY’S BROOK TRAIL

    The goal of the Kelly’s Brook Trail upgrade is to provide a continuous 4.8 km active transportation route in St. John’s, connecting the east end to the west end, with popular destinations and amenities along the way.

    On October 2, 2020 the provincial and federal government joined the City to announce funding to move ahead with Kelly’s Brook Trail upgrades, with over 80% of the cost being covered by other levels of government.

    Expansion and upgrades for the trail will be professionally designed by a team of consultants working closely with city staff and consulting with residents. Part of the plan is to execute public engagement on the design elements, with a focus on the environment, trail users, and impacted neighbouhoods. Impacts on wildlife, Rennie’s River and a tree inventory and protection plan will all be considered.

    The public consultation process will begin in the coming months and the design drawings will be finalized and shared with the public so that construction can start in 2021.

    Residents are encouraged to keep informed on this and other city projects that are important to you. You can visit the city’s engage page to register for all future engagement opportunities, follow the City and members of Council on social media, or sign up for ‘news’ e-updates on the City’s website.

    - Councillor Dave Lane

  • Governments Invest in Upgrades in Trail to Link Neighbourhoods in St. John’s

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    http://stjohns.ca/media-release/governments-invest-upgrades-trail-link-neighbourhoods-st-john-s

    The Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador; the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South–Mount Pearl, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; and City of St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen; announced funding today for a project to upgrade and connect a trail to a continuous 4.8 kilometre active transportation route in St. John’s.

    The project will see the construction of the Kelly’s Brook Shared-Use Path by upgrading and connecting existing segments of a trail between Columbus Drive and Kings Bridge Road that parallels Empire Avenue to create a safer, inclusive pedestrian and cycling route.

    Once complete, residents will benefit from a multi-purpose path that will connect different neighbourhoods and connect the east and west ends of St. John’s.

    The Government of Canada is investing more than $1,113,600 million in this project through the Public Transit Infrastructure Stream (PTIS) of the Investing in Canada infrastructure program. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is providing over $755,600, while the City of St. John’s is contributing more than $377,940.

    Construction is expected to start in 2021.

    Quotes
    “Physical activity is important for our mental health and physical health and those are all priorities for our government. Since COVID-19 changed our lives, active living has become even more important. By working with the City of St. John’s and the Federal Government, we are providing access to recreational spaces and an inclusive trail for walkers and cyclists that will connect the east and west ends of the city.”
    Honourable Andrew Furey
    Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

    “Health and wellness is important to everyone. This trail will be inclusive for everyone and provide an opportunity for walkers, runners and cyclists in St. John’s and surrounding municipalities to live active and healthy lifestyles.”
    Honourable Derrick Bragg
    Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure

    “Investing in modern and public transit and active transportation is vital to building healthy, resilient and inclusive communities. This important project will encourage residents to stay active and get outdoors. These types of infrastructure also help create good jobs as we recover from the economic effects of the pandemic, helping communities thrive once again.”
    The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South–Mount Pearl, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

    “On behalf of Council and staff, we are thankful to our Federal and Provincial partners for this significant investment in City infrastructure. Upgrading Kelly’s Brook Trail is a major step in building an integrated mobility network that will support multiple modes of active transportation in our City. Improved connectivity will provide health and economic benefits for many years to come, and I look forward to breaking ground on this project.”
    City of St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen

Page last updated: 07 May 2024, 09:54 AM