Creating links: $1.8M new piece to Cowichan Valley/Trans Canada Trail

The Cowichan Valley Trail will soon be one step closer to completion.

The Cowichan Valley Trail will soon be one step closer to completion.

Staff from the Cowichan Valley Regional District are at work building the approximately 10-kilometre section from the south of Shawnigan Lake to the boundary of the Capital Regional District.

Brian Farquhar, the CVRD’s manager of parks and trails, said the cost of the construction of this part of the approximately 120-kilometre Cowichan Valley Trail will be up to $1.8 million.

He said the funding for the work is coming from a number of sources; including $300,000 from the federal gas tax, $440,000 from a grant from Bike B.C. and $360,000 from the Trans Canada Foundation.

“When complete, the new all-weather gravel trail will connect with the Galloping Goose Trail system in Victoria,” Farquhar said.

“There are still some issues with private properties along the route that we still have to deal with so there is some fluidity as to the final layout of the trail.”

The Cowichan Valley Trail is a multi-use trail that is an integral part of the approximately 200-kilometre Trans Canada Trail route on southern Vancouver Island.

The trail, which connects up as many communities in the Cowichan Valley as possible, will connect with trails that will lead to Departure Bay in Nanaimo to the north, and to Mile 0 in Victoria to the south when all sections of it are finally completed.

Farquhar said that there are still two more sections of the CVT to be built before its finished.

They are the approximately 10-kilometre section from north of Duncan to south of Chemainus, and a 6.5-kilometre section from the north end of Chemainus to Saltair.

Farquhar said those sections will be completed as funding becomes available.

“We’d like to have the section that we’re currently working on completed for the celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017,” he said.

“We may not have the other two sections done by then, but least we should have their exact routes identified.”