Village Trail close to being delayed to spring 2016

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, July 14 2015

The Village Trail, a proposed off-the-road pathway connecting Madrona West to Tin Can Alley along the north side of North Road, is still on hold. Designers, Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) staff, engineers and representatives of the Transportation Ministry will be sitting down this week to clarify the various issues with the project.

Howard Houle, Regional Director for Area B (Gabriola, Mudge and DeCourcy Islands) said the issue was one of ensuring proper drainage, balanced with the aesthetics of how the designers would like the completed trail to look. “Once that’s done, it should be just a few days and go to MOTI - I’m hopeful that will only be a few weeks.”

Houle said the issue now is that paving season is in full swing and as it gets later in the season costs go up as more projects “need” to be finished ahead of the fall and winter rains.

If construction on the trail is not started soon, the RDN may have to put the trail on hold until the spring of 2016.

“We’ll know better when the costing comes out - once the final issue comes out about drainage.

“I’m incredibly frustrated by the delay, but we have to be responsible with the taxpayer’s money when spending it on projects like this.”

The last time a dollar amount was given for the project’s budget, Houle had estimated it to be at $500,000, which will be taken from the Area B Community Works (gas tax) funds. Houle added that the RDN will also know after the next meeting if the trail will need to be done as a phased construction because of the costs. “If that’s the case, we’ll be starting at the South Road end of the trail. The first stretch goes from there to the school.”