The proposed rail trail will follow the disused CP Rail line along the west shore of Mara Lake. (File Photo)

Regional district seeks $13 million to get rolling on Rail Trail

Federal grant would pay for a paved path from Sicamous to Armstrong

The CSRD is seeking $13 million in federal funding to get rolling with construction of the Rail Trail project.

Depending on the grant application’s success, the completed project will result in a paved pedestrian and cycling path joining Sicamous and Armstrong.

Awaiting the results of a BC Rural dividend fund application made in 2018, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District board resolved to apply for the $13 million grant through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program at their Feb. 21 meeting.

Related:Rail trail purchase finalized

The application for funding contained a budget and preliminary plan for the trail project.

In his report to the board, CSRD Community Services Team Leader Ryan Nitchie said the plan put forward in the grant application is for an asphalt-surfaced trail with amenities along the way such as vault toilet facilities, benches and picnic tables.

Other work necessary for the project, which would be covered by the grant, includes rock scaling and erosion mitigation along Mara Lake and Shuswap River. Nitchie said the resurfacing of some of the trestle bridges along the trail is also being looked at as part of the project.

Related:Grant funding sought for rail trail project between Sicamous and Armstrong

The rail trail’s route would cross the highway in two places. Nitchie said it is not yet clear what kind of highway crossings for the trail will be acceptable to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. The project budget submitted with the application does not include funds for overpasses or bridges at the highway crossings, which Nitchie said would add significant expense to the project.

“I think this is a good move and I encourage the board to support this,” said director and Sicamous Mayor Terry Rysz.

The Rail Trail is a 50-kilometre long stretch of disused railway line purchased by the CSRD in partnership with the Regional District of the North Okanagan (RDNO) and the Splatsin First Nation in late 2017.

Nitchie’s report states development of the trail for public use is not expected to proceed without grant funding assistance from a higher level of government.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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