Many of Saskatoon’s riverbank trails are cracking, slumping and in need of repair – and no one knows the trails better than Saskatoon Roadrunner Club president Peter Goode.
“There are a few spots that are starting to wear out especially if you notice along Spadina Crescent from behind the (Delta) Bessborough to the weir, there’s a few spots where it’s narrow and the pavement is uneven,” Goode said.
Running almost daily through Saskatoon’s network of riverbank trails, Goode said the club has been left no choice but to avoid certain sections of the trail network because of closures and unsafe conditions, especially on the east riverbank near the newly rehabilitated University Bridge.
“That whole trail along Saskatchewan Crescent is quite narrow and it’s very popular but in the last three years it’s been congested because of the slumping,” Goode said. “We used to run along what we called the wood-chip-trail but you can’t even get through that anymore because of the slumping.”
This week the Meewasin Valley Authority penned a letter to the City of Saskatoon, the University of Saskatchewan and the province asking for $2.7 million dollars for trail repairs and upgrades to its Beaver Creek Conservation Centre and its interpretive centre and offices in River Landing.
Goode added the trails on the west riverbank along Spadina Crescent leading up to the Mendel Building create some challenging obstacles for recreational joggers.
“In the spring when there’s lots of water I’ve been soaked going through there because the trail is right beside the road and it seems to flood in the area,” he said, adding the Roadrunners club has pitched in their fair share of funding for the MVA, donating about $250,000 over the past few years with money from their marathons and triathlons.
That money helped extend the trail system to Wanuskewin Heritage Park and Chief Whitecap Park, and he hopes to see improvement in the near future.
“The MVA trail, wherever you are on it doesn’t matter, the bigger the better because it’s our life blood, not just us, but for cyclists and walkers too, we love that trail system,” Goode said. “What’s left now is that middle part, which to me, is starting to show its age.”
On Jan. 30 the Roadrunners are hosting a winter triathlon that spans from the Clarence Downey Speed Skating Oval, to Holiday Park and through the MVA trails.