A map of the E&N Rail Trail project

A map of the E&N Rail Trail project

CRD board approves borrowing for new E&N Rail Trail sections

Cost minimal per household, but government grants for project still being sought

The Capital Regional District is looking at borrowing up to $6.12 million to complete two sections of the E&N Rail Trail-Humpback Connector for completion by 2019.

One of the two sections, estimated to cost $3.63 million, will see a one-kilometre link completed from the railway crossing on Atkins Avenue in Langford to Savory elementary.

The other section, estimated to cost $2.49 million, will consist of 1.3 km of trail in the City of Victoria linking Esquimalt Road to the Johnson Street bridge.

The CRD board last week approved borrowing the money and is expected to pass a loan authorization bylaw at a later date. The annual cost per average household to repay the loan is estimated to be $2.72 over a 15-year repayment period. CRD staff will continue to seek grant funding to support the construction of the trail and to offset costs.

The completion of the two sections will create a 13.8-km continuous route from the intersection of Jacklin Road and Station Avenue all the way in to Victoria.

Negotiations continue with the Esquimalt First Nation for safety and grade improvements on a section of trail between Hallowell Road in View Royal and a point on the opposite side of the Nation’s property at Maplebank Road.

The E&N Rail Trail, providing an alternate regional connector for cyclists and pedestrians, is being constructed largely within the E&N rail corridor in a phased development and has been funded largely through grants. Since the project began in 2007, almost $20 million in funding has been awarded for this $36-million total initiative.

Not included in the recent borrowing approval by the CRD board is development of a 3.6-km section of trail from Jacklin to Humpback Road in Langford. No time frame has been approved for this final phase, but it would expand the trail to more than 17 kilometres from downtown Victoria.

For more information on the Rail Trail project, visit crd.bc.ca/project/capital-projects/e-n-rail-trail.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com