Antonio Sergi was like a proud parent Wednesday afternoon.
Standing on a brand new multi-use paved path running parallel to Merrittville Highway, the former Vice-President, External Affairs for the Brock University Students’ Union could take pride in the fact the path was something he and his BUSU colleagues had fought hard to make happen.
“It’s awesome. It took a few years, but they came through and it looks beautiful,” said Sergi. “It was nice to see the cycling folks, the Region, the University and the Students’ Union all together on this one.”
Wednesday marked the official opening for the new path, which covers about two kilometres in distance from the corner of Sir Isaac Brock Way and Merrittville Highway to the intersection of Decew Road and Richmond Street in Thorold.
The new paved path and much-improved lighting means a safer commute for students and staff walking or cycling into Brock from the Confederation Heights neighbourhood.
“This project was driven by the Brock University Students’ Union and it was all about student safety,” said Brian Hutchings, Vice-President, Administration. “Many of our students live off campus in Thorold and use the Decew Road and Merrittville Highway corridor to walk or cycle to Brock. This will make it much safer for them to get back and forth to the University on a wide, well-lit pathway that’s good for many modes of transportation.”
The three-metre-wide path was built by Rankin Construction and was funded by various levels of government, along with a $325,000 grant from the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program.
“This project represents a significant investment in the future of our city, in our transportation network, and in the liveability of our community,” said Thorold Mayor Ted Luciani. “These new pathways quite literally pave the way for increased connectivity within Thorold.”
The upgrades are part the Brock District Plan, which covers 335 hectares of land in Thorold and St. Catharines, including the Brock University campus. The plan sets out the framework for the planning, design and development of a complete community focusing on higher education as a catalyst for economic prosperity.
“Making the community more liveable and connected is a key feature of the Brock District Plan,” said Alan Caslin, Regional Chair. “This exciting plan brings multiple stakeholders together to develop our community by building on existing assets and strengths and making the area more enjoyable for all.”