The Capital Regional District is still chipping away at the piecemeal E&N rail trail, and plans to tender its next section this spring.
The next phase will run from the rail bridge on Island Highway in View Royal to Hallowell Road, a 700 metre phase that connects View Royal town hall with the Admirals Walk shopping plaza.
CRD manager Jeff Ward said the $900,000 project will coincide with sewer upgrades along the same corridor.
Over the past year, the CRD completed a 2.3 kilometre trail section from Esquimalt Road to Admirals road, although it remains closed until intersection upgrades are complete. In 2010, rail-trail bridges were installed over Island Highway and Helmcken Road.
To complete a contiguous trail between Vic West and View Royal, the CRD needs to plug the gap between Hallowell and Colville, although Ward said that hasn’t been budgeted yet.
Money also hasn’t been allocated for the trail to hug the rail between Four Mile Hill and the Colwood highway exit, where the E&N track, the Galloping Goose, the Trans-Canada and Island Highway converge.
“Phase 2 is from View Royal to Langford, Four Mile to the Colwood interchange,” Ward said. “That hasn’t been approved yet.”
Meanwhile, Langford has its eye on completing a difficult section of the rail trail through a ravine near Atkins Road, between Savory school and the Galloping Goose.
Langford Coun. Lanny Seaton has proposed a system of relatively narrow aluminum bridges with a wood bridge deck for steep ravine areas.
The City has proposed it would fund the $3 million project if the CRD agrees to pay back the money. The plan remains tentative and Langford would likely have to borrow the money for the project.
“Aluminum bridges would maintain the ambiance of the wooded area,” Seaton said. “It would be neat to go through there with a bridge. It would curve nicely through there. It’s picturesque.”
A section of the rail trail has already been built between Jacklin Road and Savory school. Langford parks manager Mike Leskiw said building that remaining leg is a priority of the City.
“It’s a key connection for Langford. It would allow people to access the Goose all the way from Westhills,” Leskiw said. “Getting downtown (by bike) would be easy.”