English summary of Génivar’s report on “recreational” trail between Aylmer and Wyman, in municipality of Pontiac

(Copies of the report are available at the municipal offices or from councillors, for consultation.)

The report looks impressive, in two 3 cm thick binders, but is easy to read, as the report itself is only 34 pages (in French), including maps, photos of other trails, engineering drawings of details of trail construction, and bibliography.

The bulk of the binders is taken up with annexes. Annex A is an 11 page list of some of the affected owners. Annex B has 113 pages of photographs taken on routes studied. Annex C contains 94 detail sheets, one for each section of route studied.
Annex D is 3 cost charts, a useful tool for comparing routes and costs of the 3 options. Annex E will be an account of the public meeting. Annex F, the second binder, contains 8 plans of the area studied, from Aylmer to Wyman, with trail routes.

Recommendation
M. Marquis explained that “recreational trails” in this study means off-road bicycle trails.
The conclusion on page 33 of the report recommends option 1. This is the route using the former rail-line, except in Breckenridge, where it deviates onto Sumac, Lilas, Kawartha, across farmers’ fields and back to the rail-line north of Elm. Because of the disagreement of many owners, options 2 and 3 are proposed as alternatives.

Owner survey
The councillors’ survey of owners on potential routes is on pages 19 & 20 of the report.
There are no routes in Ward 1, North Onslow.
In Quyon, several owners would give up part of their property for a cycle trail.
In Ward 3, from Wyman to Kennedy Road, several owners would give up part of their property for a cycle trail, but there is opposition for some sections of rail-line.
In Wards 4, 5, 6 and 7, east of Kennedy Road, many owners are against giving up part of their property for a cycle trail on the former rail-line or across fields.

Costs and routes from Annex D:

Option 1: $3.69 million
The recommended rail-line route is 38 km long and costs $1.06 million. Access routes to villages and attractions add $100,000. Bridges, embankments, stabilization and fences: $500,000. Signs, rest areas and car parks: $180,000, for a total of $1.84 million. Then 25% is added for contingencies; taxes, $350,000; $190,000 for land purchase; and finally another 30% for fees: engineers’, surveyors’, financing, environmental studies, legal costs etc. The grand total for the recommended route is $3.69 million.

Option 2: $3.94 million
Option 2 is a separate trail at the side of Terry Fox (partly in Gatineau), from the southeastern tip of the municipality near the Ottawa River, then cutting across to Smith-Leonard and Rivière. From Rivière to Wyman, option 2 takes the former rail-line. This route is 37.5 km at a cost of $1.22 million. Land acquisition is less than option 1 at $150,000, but the other costs and percentages are the same, for a grand total of $3.94 million.

Option 3: $5.5 million
Option 3 is the same as option 2 as far as Rivière. From Rivière to Kennedy the route follows a zigzag of municipal roads, again as a separate trail at the side. From Kennedy to Wyman this option follows the rail-line. This is the longest route at 43.8 km, for $2.1 million. Only $80,000 is allowed for land purchase, but the other costs and percentages are the same as option 1, for a grand total of $5.5 million.

After a route is chosen, various further studies will need to be carried out such as soil studies, permission obtained from the CPTAQ, and environmental studies near watercourses or where the rail-line may be contaminated, for the ministry of Environment, so it would be two years before construction could start.