Village Way Trail back on track with new ‘understanding’ with MOTI

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, August 14 2018

The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) is spending $25,000 to have the Village Way Trail redesigned based on a new understanding they have with the Transportation Ministry.

Howard Houle, RDN Director for Electoral Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, DeCourcy) said the firm chosen (Newcastle) is adjusting the previous plans as the Ministry has changed their policy.

$25,000 is being budgeted by the RDN for the redesign.

Houle said, “We had drawings ready to go, but MOTI has changed their policy, which allowed us to scale down what we are doing. 

“We no longer have to have the non-mountable curbs, we can use a piece of asphalt, that’ll make all the difference in the cost.”

As to a timeline, Houle said considering the number of times the Village Way Trail project has hit roadblocks, he did not want to speculate on when it might be started, let alone completed. 

The redesign is only expected to take a month.

“So, in theory, we could actually start [construction] in the spring.”

Funding for trail design is through the federal Community Works Funds. 

Projects within the region’s Electoral Areas that will improve public infrastructure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions are eligible to receive these funds. 

The Gabriola Village Trail is designed to serve as a safe and enjoyable non-motorized corridor, linking Gabriola’s Village with nearby parks, the Gabriola Commons, Gabriola Elementary School and other community destinations. The trail will run along the north side of North Road from Wishbone to Tin Can Alley.

Houle added that the work being done on the Village Way will not compete for funding or staff time with Phase 2 of the Huxley Park buildout (which involves the skatepark and parking lot).