An anonymous donor is helping Sarnia pave the way to a safer route for cyclists.
The east-west transportation route, which would link the Howard Watson Nature Trail to the downtown and waterfront, has been approved in principle by city council.
The project would connect new multi-use pathways, bike-friendly streets, and an existing trail running the length of Germain Park.
The anonymous donor is passionate about creating more multi-use paths in Sarnia and wants to help fund and negotiate the route, staff said.
The proposed route would pass near Bluewater Health and Hanna Memorial School, and the donor is already working with the hospital and school board on that section.
The estimated cost of that stretch between East and Russell is $230,000. It may require easements and the relocation of infrastructure on private property, which would be covered by the anonymous donor, staff said.
Coun. Brian White thanked the benefactor for his or her generosity.
“This is a fantastic surprise and it’s certainly going to be a great asset to our community as a whole,” he said.
If the hospital section proceeds this year the city could apply $153,000 remaining from an Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling grant, said city engineer David Jackson
Sarnia must match 20% of the funding, and any additional could come from the Transportation Master Plan project budget, he said.
Property owners on the proposed route will be consulted, Jackson added.
The Afton Drive section of pathway would likely be done next year.