CN awarded the contract to remove the rails to Westcan Rail and work began at Hardy Road in Kelowna heading towards Coldstream. As of December 16th, the removal crew is working through Lake Country and has passed Woodsdale Rd and is working along the east side of Wood Lake to Oyama. Please remember that the corridor is undeveloped and not maintained and the spikes and ties may cause hazards until they are removed. Please stay off the trail while the work is happening. The District of Lake Country assumes no liability for any damage or injury in using the trail in the present condition.
DEVELOPING THE TRAIL
As part of the sale agreement, CN has until 2017 to remove the tracks and do any environmental remediation. Any development of the trail can only start after these obligations are completed and there is money available to undertake the work.
Before any plans to develop the trail can be considered by the Councils and Board, a planning and design process must take place which will include extensive public input, cost estimates and phasing. Timing and budget for the development of the trail will ultimately be determined by the councils of Kelowna and Lake Country and Regional District of North Okanagan board.
Considering the investment to purchase the rail corridor land and other priorities in each community, most Councils will not be making any major financial commitments to developing the trail in the near future; however, they will be looking at working with community groups, fund raising opportunities, and grants to help raise the funds to develop the trail.
The IDT (Inter-jurisdictional Development Team) includes reps from Kelowna, Lake Country and the North Okanagan Regional District (RDNO) working together on the development of the trail for the benefit of residents in the entire valley. They are working closely with the Okanagan Indian Band and other community stakeholders.
Local interests are in:
- keeping the integrity of the corridor;
- the value of the corridor to the entire region;
- developing the trail and pedestrian, and cyclist access;
- maintenance, beautification and road crossing arrangements;
- working with agencies and groups on funding the development of the trail; and
- land inventory and administration details.
LEASE AND/OR LICENCE AGREEMENTS
Lake Country is currently working on a land inventory and administration details and will be contacting property owners in early 2016 that have pre-existing leases or licences for things such as sewer, water, hydro, gas, access or docks. Kelowna and RDNO will be doing the same in their areas.
Lake Country’s rep on the IDT is Michael Mercer, Director of Engineering and Environmental Services. Michael can be reached at 250-766-5650 (x223) or via email at email@example.com.