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Funding support for off-road connector trail in Port Hawkesbury

With large display posters detailing the Destination Reeves Street project nearby, Town of Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton addresses those on-hand Sept. 24 for a funding announcement regarding an off-road connector trail from the Nova Scotia Community College Strait Area Campus to Pitt Street, which is a component of the overall project.
With large display posters detailing the Destination Reeves Street project nearby, Town of Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton addresses those on-hand Sept. 24 for a funding announcement regarding an off-road connector trail from the Nova Scotia Community College Strait Area Campus to Pitt Street, which is a component of the overall project. - Richard MacKenzie

Connecting NSCC Strait Area campus to the heart of Reeves Street

PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. —

Making it an easier and more pleasurable walk between the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Strait Area Campus and all the shops and amenities on Reeves Street, was the focus of a Sept. 24 announcement at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.

Nova Scotia Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette made the announcement that the government has invested $100,000 into a 1.6 kilometer off-road connector trail from the campus to Pitt Street.

“The investment will cover phase one of the town’s Destination Reeves Street project, a three-year project that will also include a network of interconnecting bicycle systems, streetscape improvements and improved access between Reeves Street and the commercial district,” a release to accompany the announcement read.

The funding is through the provincial government’s Connect2 stream of the Low Carbon Communities program.

“There has been a great committee who has been working on this for a long time; they have been back-and-forth with our staff,” Mombourquette said of the project, in talking to reporters after the announcement.

Sandwiched by displays regarding the Destination Reeves Street project, Nova Scotia Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette makes a funding announcement regarding an aspect of the project, Sept. 24, at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.
Sandwiched by displays regarding the Destination Reeves Street project, Nova Scotia Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette makes a funding announcement regarding an aspect of the project, Sept. 24, at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.

“This is something I’ve been brought into the last few months. There are similar projects happening around the Island right now; Cape Breton University is another example of something similar. I think this is wonderful,” added the MLA for Sydney-Whitney Pier.

He talked about the trail being more accessible and safer for students and staff as opposed to former long and hilly route, and in quoting others who spoke during the announcement, noted it’s not only likely to be used as a means to getting from one place to the other, but just as a path to go for a nice walk and get some fresh air, for both students and staff.

“It’s part of active living while reducing the carbon footprint, we want to promote,” he said.

“These projects have been very successful in other communities so, to me, this is a fantastic project. It’s transforming the community so, of course, we want to support it.”

Looking at the bigger Destination Reeves Street Project overall, Mombourquette said while it’s still in the early phase, he is already seeing more pedestrian traffic around the street.

“I come through here almost weekly; you see the development, the work that is going on and it’s fantastic,” Mombourquette said.

“It looks busier as you come through and, once this is all complete and people really catch-on to what we’re doing, I think you’re going to see the entire community using it. As the mayor said, you’re impacting 3,500 residents in the community, so these projects are very important for community building.”

 Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton talked more about the ‘community building’ aspect of the project.

“When you look at growing a community, part of that puzzle piece is how do you create a community that is more walkable, more accessible, and this is part and parcel of that initiative - that vision for the Town of Port Hawkesbury,” she said.

“We do want to be more walkable, user-friendly, accessible, and we want a safer street. For many, many decades, Reeves Street was a through-way, and part of this project is creating Reeves Street as a destination.”

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Chisholm-Beaton talked about Reeves Street as a Complete Street Project – a first for Nova Scotia.

“Complete Street Project challenges you to think about why we build streets, to think of streets differently,” she said.

“Traditionally, streets are built for vehicles, but the Complete Street Project begs you to think about that in terms of people; so it’s people-centered development. So we’re revitalizing Reeves Street for people, in all the ways they move.

“So when you talk about who are the beneficiaries of Reeves Street, they are so many. It’s more than just the people behind the wheel; we have walkers, bikers, citizen in wheel chairs who have mobility challenges … Reeves Street really is for everyone.

“That’s why this project is particularly exciting, because it’s the first Complete Street Project for the Town of Port Hawkesbury most definitely, and for the Province of Nova Scotia. We’re hoping to lead the charge, punch above our weight class and serve as an example across the province on how you can take your main street and revitalize it in a way that creates a more welcoming space for everyone.”

For more on the Destination Reeves Street project, visit the Town of Port Hawkesbury’s website and click on the link (townofporthawkesbury.ca/Reeves).

For more on the province’s Low Carbon Communities and Connect2 program, visit novascotia.ca/low-carbon-communities. 

Coming together for a photo following the Sept. 24 announcement were Nova Scotia Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette (left), Town of Port Hawkesbury CAO Terry Doyle, Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton, project committee member Amanda Mombourquette and representing Nova Scotia Community College Strait Area Campus Christena Goyetche, Academic Chair schools of access, business, and health and human services.
Coming together for a photo following the Sept. 24 announcement were Nova Scotia Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette (left), Town of Port Hawkesbury CAO Terry Doyle, Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton, project committee member Amanda Mombourquette and representing Nova Scotia Community College Strait Area Campus Christena Goyetche, Academic Chair schools of access, business, and health and human services.

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