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

Upgrades at Crofton ferry terminal expected in 2022

Public consultations expected to begin in 2019

Editorial: Investing in public transportation infrastructure only makes sense

First, public transit is key to limiting our environmental footprint.

VIDEO: Kitten rescued from under school bus in Duncan

School staff have affectionately called kitten “Axle”

Lake Flashback: Sandy Berry is featured as our look back at Decembers past continues

WFI got a Christmas gift in 1978, but by 1993, some residents were in need of a police warning

Ship sinking in Cowichan Bay

As heavy rains fall and winds kick up waves, a ship was… Continue reading

VIDEO: Cobble Hill welcomes Christmas with frolicsome show

From lovely carols to humorous skits: a big crowd enjoyed it all on Sunday, Dec. 9

Coming up in Cowichan: Celebrate the second floor with the HUB

Celebrate the second floor this weekend at HUB at Cowichan Station Dec.… Continue reading

Mandatory victim surcharge cruel and unusual punishment, top court rules

Stephen Harper’s Conservative government made the charges mandatory in 2013.

Tourism minister postpones trip to China amid tensions between two countries

Tourism Minister Melanie Joly’s office says Canada and China have mutually agreed to postpone a closing ceremony next week.

Police across Canada probe bomb threats as U.S. authorities dismiss ‘hoax’

A police spokesman said the emails were the same as those received elsewhere in North America

France shooter killed Thursday during police operation

7 more being held by police in shooting investigation

Shootout loss for Canada West against Czech Republic

Team Canada West now looking forward to semifinal game

Ex-Trump lawyer: Hush money paid over election concerns

Michael Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in federal prison

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

Most Read