Construction on Exciting New Trail to Begin in September

(August 17, North Cowichan, BC) North Cowichan announced yesterday that construction will begin in September on an exciting new multi-use trail along the Trans-Canada Highway.

In March, the Provincial government announced that North Cowichan was one of twenty-six communities across BC to be awarded funding to expand cycling lanes in 2017/18. North Cowichans $472,311 grant will cover up to half of the cost to construct the new 1.6 kilometer multi-use trail. The trail will run from the end of the dike at the Somenos Marsh Outdoor Education Centre parking lot, north along the highway to the Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre and BC Forest Discovery Centre. The project focuses on making this central part of our community a safer place for pedestrians and cyclists by getting them off the highway shoulder and away from high-speed traffic. 

As our community grows and becomes busier, building safe and walkable connections is so important, says Jon Lefebure, Mayor of North Cowichan. This trail will give residents and visitors a safe way to walk and cycle between existing trails, transit services and community hubs like the Visitor Centre, Forest Discovery Centre, Beverly Corners, Cowichan Commons, and the future new Regional hospital. 

While the majority of the trail will be built within the highway right-of-way, an Environmental Protection Plan has been created to ensure that construction minimizes impacts to nearby environmentally sensitive areas, in particular the Somenos Marsh. Archaeological consultants have also been brought onto the project team to provide advice and recommendations through construction. 

This trail is the first project out of ten specific capital projects in the 5-year Bike Network Plan. Residents can look forward to a new network for active transportation and recreation as these projects are undertaken over the next five years.

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