The Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail is receiving a $500,000 boost to develop a section of the trail near Armstrong.
The money, from B.C.’s Active Transportation Infrastructure grant program, will be used to develop and construct a section of trail from Lansdowne Road in the Township of Spallumcheen to Smith Drive in the City of Armstrong.
This section will be constructed on the south side of the CP Rail right-of-way operated by CN Rail.
CN Rail has agreed to support this project with a long-term lease agreement for those lands, which will allow for the development of a four-metre-wide trail in this section, explained the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) in a March 6 media release.
The grant is a partnership effort involving the CSRD, Splatsin and the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO). The total grant application is for $820,000, with the province funding $500,000 and the CSRD and RDNO each contributing approximately $160,000 from reserve funds.
“From its beginnings, this project has been about working together to create a legacy project that will connect our communities with a pathway that promotes active living for people of all ages and abilities,” said CSRD board chair Kevin Flynn. “This grant funding partnership allows for the development of another key section of the rail trail, and we are very appreciative of that.”
The funds will apply directly to the development of multi-use recreational active trail development and will include road crossings, barriers and signage to allow for safer access. The compact aggregate trail will be designed for universal accessibility.
“This important and timely grant funding is appreciated as it brings the total dollars raised very close to the amount needed to develop the entire Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail,” said Grahame Go, chief executive officer of the Splatsin Development Corporation. “Construction of the rail trail is starting this spring, and this additional support will ensure its success − leading to the preservation of Splatsin’s cultural assets and promotion of indigenous values, while simultaneously providing recreational and tourism economic opportunities for the region.”
Planning for the construction of this section of trail is already underway, and it is hoped construction will begin this year. The grant stipulates the funds be used before the end of 2025.
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