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Cyclists call for urgent repairs to Barrhaven path partially on federal land

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A bike path that connects Barrhaven with Nepean is in desperate need of repair, but for it to be fixed, both the city and federal government need to work together.

Rainer Bruchhaeuser is a Barrhaven resident and avid cyclist, "I get out as often as I can," he tells CTV News Ottawa.

But there is one path in Ottawa he just won't ride anymore, "I'm detouring five kilometers to avoid this path just to get started with my cycling tour for the day."

He says a pathway between Hunt Club and Fallowfield, parallel to Greenbank Road, leaves much to be desired.

"The condition of it is abysmal. There are cracks and bumps and flooding that occurs at certain times of the year, and it's actually unsafe to travel down depending on your mode of transportation."

Other cyclists agree.

Dave Houghton says it's too bumpy for his bike, and on Wednesday, he chose to ride along the shoulder of Greenbank Road instead.

"Especially on a bike with hard tires. I mean, maybe a mountain bike would be okay, but it needs some work," he said.

The city tells CTV News Ottawa there is a plan to renew this pathway, but the federal government owns part of it.

In a statement on Tuesday, linear asset management manager Scott Laberge, wrote,

"The design of the Multi-Use Pathway (MUP) renewal on Greenbank Road will be initiated this year. As the path is partially located on federal lands, the City is in discussions with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to determine a construction schedule that aligns with the CFIA's plans that may impact the existing path resulting from construction access and utility improvements. The City of Ottawa will continue to evaluate the MUP's condition to ensure a safe environment for all users."

In a statement, a spokesperson for The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said,

"The Canadian Food inspection Agency (CFIA) is aware of the state of the path in this area. The CFIA has an agreement in place with the City of Ottawa to allow use of its property for this trail and the City maintains the trail."

Complicating matters, is a the federal government plan to start building a new laboratory nearby, which will mean digging in the area of the path.

"We are engaging in construction of a new laboratory at the location as a partner in the Laboratories Canada strategy. This project will require upgrades to electrical infrastructure, which will result in digging and trenching that will impact the area. We are also working with stakeholders such as Public Service and Procurement Canada, the City of Ottawa and Hydro Ottawa to ensure that work to repair this path is done at an appropriate time given the work to be done," the government said.

"What we want to avoid is putting the pathway down and having to tear it up. But my understanding is that's up to five years off," said Barrhaven East Coun. Wilson Lo.

Lo says he and the other councillors in the area, want the path fixed.

"We obviously can't leave it in the state that it's in now. It's been pretty bad for several years and it's only going to get worse as each winter passes."

But for now, there doesn't appear to be an immediate solution, and cyclists are fed up,

"It's something that should be addressed," says Bruchhaeuser

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