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

Cowichan teams prepare for cup finals

United plays at R.A.P. on Saturday, 49ers play on Sunday

Brent Clancy to lead Cowichan Lake Chamber in 2018

Cowichan Lake is looking towards a positive future as chamber elects 2018 slate of officers

RCMP searching for man wanted on sexual assault charges

William Meers is known to frequent the Duncan area

VIDEO: Community garden progress is ‘interesting journey’: Cara Smith

Since the garden was forced to move to Ravine Park, its supporters have been heartened by support

VIDEO: Council assures minor baseball coaches: It’s Play Ball!

Worried coaches, wanted reassurance that field would be regulation sized for league play

Showers, flurries and hail all possible over South Coast on Thursday and Friday

Thunderstorms producing small hail could also be on the weather menu

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Charges formally laid against Nanaimo city manager

City of Nanaimo CAO Tracy Renee Samra charged with fear of injury/damage by another person

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

UPDATE: Former B.C. city councillor sentenced nine months for sexual assault

Dave Murray, convicted this past fall, hired a private investigator to intrude on the victim’s life.

Most Read