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New river valley trails open in northeast Edmonton

Edmonton's river valley trail system has expanded by 16 kilometres with Friday's official opening of new asphalt and gravel trails in the northeast.

$8.5-million project completed on time and on budget, city says

A cyclist rides along the newly opened East End Trails Project near Fraser Vista. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

Edmonton's river valley trail system has expanded by 16 kilometres with Friday's official opening of new asphalt and gravel trails in the northeast.

The East End Trails Project, which began in the fall of 2016, was completed "on time and on budget" this fall, the city said Friday in a news release.

The $8.5-million project was funded in partnership with the City of Edmonton, River Valley Alliance and the provincial and federal governments.

It includes a primary asphalt trail on the north side of the river from Hermitage Park to 167th Avenue.

Edmonton councillor Aaron Paquette invites Edmontonians to explore the city's new river valley pathway extension. 0:33

The trail on the south side of the river has a secondary gravel trail connecting the Clover Bar area to the Anthony Henday pedestrian bridge crossing, which was recently constructed by the Alberta government.

"Most of the trails right now are in the west end and the centre part of the city, so to get access and connectivity to the east end is really important to our full map of going from Fort Saskatchewan all the way through to Devon," said Brent Collingwood, executive director of the River Valley Alliance.

The alliance is a collaboration of the seven municipalities bordering the North Saskatchewan River in the Edmonton metropolitan region.

People walk along a portion of the East End Trails Project in the Fraser neighbourhood of Edmonton. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

Ward 4 Coun. Aaron Paquette attended the opening to get a glimpse of the new trails.

"Everyone in the northeast is going to be able to come down and enjoy the river valley more. Everyone from all other parts of the Edmonton area is going to be able to come up and see what we've got," Paquette said.

"It means for people with mobility issues, challenges, or people who just want to get out here, it's a lot easier for them to access this beauty that we've inherited from those who came before us."

People who walk the new trails will get this river-valley view from from the northeast trail lookout. (Travis McEwan/CBC)