Trail work begins in September

Trail will run from Dike Trail Terminus to Drinkwater Road

Work will begin next month on a new 1.6-kilometre multi-use trail along the Trans-Canada Highway near the BC Forest Discovery Centre.

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

The province announced in March that the Municipality of North Cowichan will receive $472,000 to expand cycling lanes, and the funding for the trail project is expected to cover approximately half the costs of the trail with North Cowichan picking up the rest of the bill.

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

SEE RELATED STORY: North Cowichan gets $500K for new multi-use trail

“As our community grows and becomes busier, building safe and walkable connections is so important,” said North Cowichan mayor Jon Lefebure

“This trail will give residents and visitors a safe way to walk and cycle between existing trails, transit services and community hubs like the Visitor Centre, Forest Discovery Centre, Beverly Corners, Cowichan Commons, and the future new regional hospital.”

But the proximity of the trail to the nearby environmentally sensitive Somenos Marsh has raised some concerns.

At the municipality’s committee of the whole meeting on Aug. 16, Dave Polster, from Duncan’s Polster Environmental Services, said the trail’s encroachment on the Somenos Marsh could have unacceptable environmental consequences.

He said that while North Cowichan is stating that the trail’s impacts on the marsh will be minimal, its footprint from a biological perspective would be several hundred metres into the wetland.

“Maybe a bridge could be built to the existing trail on the other side of the marsh that would have less environmental impacts,” Polster said.

“We need to think about the impacts on our natural resources of these types of projects. Look at what’s happened with the water quality at Quamichan Lake.”

Barb Thomas, North Cowichan’s manager of engineering, said the municipality will be meeting with the Somenos Marsh Society next week to discuss the design of the trail and other aspects of it that pertain to the wetland.

She said the environmental plans for the trail call for any areas on the slopes into the marsh that are disturbed by its construction will be replanted with native vegetation that would add extra habitat to the marsh.

“North Cowichan is always open to talks so there’s no closed doors as to how we proceed,” said Natasha Horsman, North Cowichan’s community planning coordinator.

“We’ll try to proceed in a way that will keep all sides satisfied.”

Just Posted

Column T.W. Paterson: How Christmas has changed

I’m talking about a look-alike Colt .44 that fired gunpowder-filled caps

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Column Drivesmart: Headlight systems can be complex to police

There is more light on the road today from the driver’s point of view than there has ever been.

Column: Simple Santa letter a timeless treasure

Little Billy Plant knew exactly what he wanted and he matter-of-factly asked for it, too.

Column: Idea for North Cowichan: Invest local funds into local sustainability projects

If successful, we will build a new community biofuel pump

VIDEO: All aboard the Christmas train at the BC Forest Discovery Centre

The Christmas Train at the BC Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan is… Continue reading

Cowichan Coffee Time: Donations and fundraising success

• Treasurer Cyndy Dinter of the Auxiliary to Cowichan District Hospital recently… Continue reading

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

Woman in Nanaimo accidentally hands over diamond ring with spare change

Incident happened Wednesday at about 7 p.m. at parking lot near Nanaimo’s boardwalk

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Most Read