North Cowichan cancels plans for a new multi-use trail that was to be built this year along Somenos Marsh due to cost shortfalls. (File photo)

North Cowichan cancels new trail from Duncan to Drinkwater

North Cowichan nixes trail due to cost shortfalls

Plans for a new 1.6-kilometre multi-use trail along the Trans-Canada Highway near the BC Forest Discovery Centre have been put on hold.

The Municipality of North Cowichan has decided to cancel the tender process for the construction of the trail in 2018 due to a shortfall of $334,100 for a project that was originally budgeted to cost $972,000.

The new trail was supposed to run from the Dike Trail Terminus to Drinkwater Road East, and was intended to create a safe cycling and pedestrian connection along the highway.

The province’s BikeBC Fund announced last year that North Cowichan would receive $472,000 to expand cycling lanes, and the funding was expected to cover approximately half the costs of the trail, with North Cowichan picking up the rest of the bill.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN GETS $500K FOR NEW TRAIL

The trail was the first project out of 10 specific capital projects in the municipality’s five-year bike network plan.

David Conway, North Cowichan’s director of engineering, said in a staff report that estimates to construct the trail have risen from its original budget to $1,306,000.

“This leaves a shortfall of $334,100, which is 35 per cent over budget and brings the municipal contribution from $500,000 to $834,100,” Conway said.

“BikeBC has been contacted to determine if options through the grant funding existed, but it was confirmed that there is no money available to increase grant amounts. It was also confirmed that the grant can’t be shifted to any other project.”

Conway said the province suggested that BikeBC would entertain a new timeline that would allow the municipality to budget over two years; 2018 and 2019.

Conway said North Cowichan could cover the shortfall by deferring other trail projects budgeted for 2018.

“Council could also choose to cancel the project and either carry the municipal portion to a future year, or decide to implement a different project with a $500,000 value in 2018.” he said.

“The BikeBC grant would then be retracted by the province.”

Council decided to cancel the tender process for the project in the 2018 budget, and staff were directed to prepare recommendations on other bike network projects for council to consider in 2018.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

North Cowichan looks to smaller pot operations

Micro-marijuana facilities will be allowed in some commercial zones

Mariah Segee makes history as first female captain in Lake Cowichan

Seven-year hockey player prefers the boys’ game

North Cowichan appeals new permit for expansion at Chemainus composting facility

Province allows composting facility to expand processing

Cobble Hill egg farmers crack provincial farming fame

A young couple from Cobble Hill were declared the 2019 BC &… Continue reading

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

B.C., feds accused of ‘environmental racism’ over Site C, Mount Polley

Amnesty International Canada says governments failed to recognize threats to Indigenous peoples

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Number of homeless deaths more than doubled in B.C. as opioid crisis set in

New data shows trend between more overdose deaths and the number of people dying in the street

Four people spat on in ‘random, unprovoked’ assaults: Vancouver police

Police ask additional victims to come forward after woman in a wheelchair spat on

Teen girl accused in plot to attack Kamloops school with weapons out on bail

Judge warned the girl she would be back in jail if she threatened to shoot anyone

Parksville’s mystery cowboy revealed

Kevin Gourlay’s horse garners attention for being ‘parked’ outside a liquor store

Crown drops one assault charge against B.C. man linked to human remains probe

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will still stand trial on one count of assault causing bodily harm in December.

Trans woman hopes funding cut will send message to B.C. rape crisis group

Rape Relief does not turn transgender women away and often connects them to other services, group says

Most Read