Bike trails coming to County Road 50

County Rd. 50 runs from the eastern edge of Amherstburg through southern Essex to the western part of Kingsville along Lake Erie.

In recent years it has attracted a growing number of day and overnight trippers many of whom stay in local hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Some are cyclists who like to visit fresh farm stands and the growing number of wineries.

The route has long been in the centre of Lake Erie cottage country.

But the road’s narrow two lanes can make cycling difficult.

Paving bicycle trails has become an increasing priority as the county tries to attract more tourism, especially people seeking healthy and outdoor adventure vacations.

Some $1.5 million has been set aside to begin work on various CWATS projects.

Baker said not all of the highway will be done at once but "portions of" it will.

Certainly the area in and around Colchester Harbour, where $100,000 separately has been set aside for road upgrading, will be one of the first sections to be rebuilt.

Another project that will get underway is the widening of Dunn Road between Colchester and inland Harrow which will be "resurfaced to include bike lanes and walkways," he said.

Baker said that work will come from federal highway money.

Engineering is already being done to relocate a ditch, he said.

Once the two projects are completed there will be "continuity of bike lanes through Colchester right to Harrow and on County Rd. 50."

Improving County Rd. 50 has long been a dream for tourist planners, local businesses, and recreation groups.

"I’m happy that it’s moving forward and I hope it has some momentum," Baker said.

But he said continual improvements will mean cooperation between the county and local municipalities, the latter which pay 60 per cent of costs.

"It’s up to municipalities to ensure they’re putting their monies in reserve to do their portion of it."

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