With construction set to start on the Okanagan Rail Trail project, residents are invited to have a look at the latest plans for the trail and learn more about the upcoming work at three information sessions in early October.

Construction of approximately 26 kilometres of compacted crushed aggregate trail (12 km in the RDNO, 5 km in Lake Country and 9 km in Kelowna) is anticipated for completion in Spring 2018. All information sessions are open to the public and residents of any jurisdiction. Staff and consultants will be available to answer questions about trail design, construction locations and timelines.

Tuesday, October 3
4 p.m. 6:30 p.m.
Coldstream Municipal Hall, 9901 Kalamalka Rd
Regional District of North Okanagan

Wednesday, October 4
4 p.m. 6:30 p.m.
foyer of Community Complex at GESS, 10241 Bottom Wood Lake Rd
District of Lake Country

Thursday, October 5
4 p.m. 6:30 p.m.
Parkinson Recreation Centre, 1800 Parkinson Way
City of Kelowna

"Crews have already begun working along the trail to get it ready for construction," said Andrew Gibbs, Interjurisdictional Development Team Project Manager. "Initial construction work is focused on environmental and archeological protection, mitigating potential geotechnical hazards and drainage improvements. Next steps, starting this fall, will be trail construction and safe road crossings."

The remaining sections of the 48.5-kilometre trail will be built once the funding and all the necessary approvals are in place. Subject to funding, it is possible that the initial development of the corridor could be completed in late 2018 or early 2019, except for a 2.4-kilometre section near Duck Lake that runs through the Okanagan Indian Band's IR,7 Reserve. This will happen at a future date, pending federal transfer of ownership of the land to the Band.

Local governments and the Province of B.C. have invested $22 million in the purchase of the discontinued CN rail corridor running from Coldstream to Kelowna. In doing so they have made a long-term commitment to securing the rail corridor as a multi-modal regional transportation corridor, including use of the corridor as a recreational trail.

Due to the significant investment to purchase the corridor, and in light of other pre-existing community priorities, local governments are not in a position to make any significant financial commitment to development of a trail in the short-term. A community-based fundraising campaign by the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative is underway to support the work required to design and build a continuous basic trail from Coldstream to Kelowna.

Learn more at okanaganrailtrail.ca