Rail trail in spotlight

Details are being released on the future of the Okanagan rail trail

Details are being released on the future of the Okanagan rail trail.

On Monday, the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee will receive a report from the interjurisdictional team putting together plans for the corridor from Coldstream to Kelowna.

“The IDT has put together a trail development plan that identifies the vision, issues, assumptions, concept, development approach and estimated cost to develop a basic recreational trail,” said David Sewell, Regional District of North Okanagan chief administrative officer, in a memo.

A basic standard of trail is currently being proposed that allows for early use.

“It prioritizes expenditures on basic trail functionality items first, such as safety and access, and defers lower priority items and the planning and funding thereof, to a future time, such as public washrooms, interpretive facilities,” said Sewell.

The initial phase of the development includes a standard 4.6-metre width, but it may be narrower in areas where space is restricted.

The surface will be covered with compacted crushed aggregate and barriers will prohibit motorized vehicles.

“The basic level of trail will be designed and constructed such that additions or enhancements to it, such as asphalting sections of trail, can be readily and economically made in future phases of work,” said Sewell.

The projected price tag for developing the trail is $7.6 million, and the initial first phase will be funded by donations collected by the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative.

“The phasing and timing of construction remains to be worked out,” said Sewell.

“The most significant influence on the construction schedule is the raising of sufficient funds to undertake the work. Other factors include permit windows, such as environment, and construction logistics.”

Barriers and access controls could be installed this year.

On Monday, GVAC will be asked to endorse the concept and development plan for the corridor and the fundraising efforts of the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative.











Vernon Morning Star