A plan to build sidewalks in Iqaluit

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

I would hate to have to walk the streets of Iqaluit. It would be a dangerous activity at the best of times.

This thought occurred to me about 25 years ago. I was in a position at that time to do something about it, but the voters had other ideas.

Establishing sidewalks would not be a difficult task. The plan that I proposed required a simple cement mixer, some wooden forms and a few shovels. A supply of cement gravel, sands and re-bar. A small crew of unskilled students, a foreman, and a fork-lift for handling the heavy panels. The complete plant could be set up in a tent.

I proposed a sidewalk made of concrete panels, four by six feet, laid end-to-end on a bed of gravel to keep them level. A wooden form made of two-by-eight lumber, four feet by six feet, and eight inches deep.

Each panel would include a locking appendage, which would allow for each unit to be keyed and locked or attached to the other. The panels would be laid along the edge of those roads found to be the most suitable.

Due to the weight of each panel, they would require minimum care once in place. A gravel or sand foundation would be sufficient to support them. Some sections of roadway would require more work than others in preparation for the sidewalk.

It was decided in the original plan that only some sections of the roads would be suitable for sidewalks. The heaviest walking traffic areas should be given first priority: the main Ring Road section from the high school to the stop sign at the hospital, the Four Corners to the Northern to the corner near Arctic Ventures and continuing to Happy Valley.

It could take as much as five years to cover most of the downtown areas in this modest way. A scheme such as this would not cost a lot of money and would provide worthwhile jobs for students in the summer.

It is possible that funds could be found to speed up this plan and get it done in a hurry. Whatever happens, the safety of the walking public is vital.

Bryan Pearson
Iqaluit

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