Rail removal makes way for future Okanagan recreation trail

By Pete McIntyre
October 18, 2016 - 10:45am

VERNON, B.C. — A big part of the prep work for the proposed Okanagan Rail Trail is nearing completion. 

CN Rail is said to be close to removing the rail infrastructure along the corridor which was part of its sale agreement with local governments.

Road users should be advised there may be intermittent closures where the rail crossings occur until early November.

Senior project manager Andrew Gibbs from the City of Kelowna says with the first funding threshold reached, a design-build plan for the trail has begun, as well as access control designs.

He says construction could begin as early as spring 2017.

"Until the trail is open to the public, each local government has established its own approach to ensure the safety of its residents and mitigate risks," says Gibbs.

Gibbs says the rail corridor inside the Kelowna municipal boundary is a closed and undeveloped trail with uneven surface and natural hazards that may cause serious injury.

"Active construction is occurring in some areas and should be avoided. Residents are advised not to trespass."

Residents should adhere to signage posted at accesses in the District of Lake Country and the Regional District of North Okanagan.

Once the trail is ready to open, each community’s council will consider permitted use and trail designation.

RDNO's board chair Rick Fairbairn has said they will likely allow people with dogs, and people riding horses, but nothing automated.

More information about the Okanagan Rail Corridor can be accessed at www.kelowna.ca/okrailcorridor


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