The City of Langford’s proposed plan to connect a section of the E&N Rail Trail hit another roadblock when it learned the Capital Regional District was unsuccessful in obtaining a grant for their planned improvements for the trail.
CRD Parks initially suggested the City of Langford apply for a Bike B.C. grant to help defray the cost of building the dual-direction lane on the lower side of the Atkins Avenue roadway. The section would be about 230 metres long, about half of which falls within an Island Corridor Foundation right-of-way. The lanes would serve as a direct connection between the CRD’s future E&N Rail Trail improvements along Atkins and the Galloping Goose Trail.
“It’s creating a commuter shortcut, for lack of a better term,” said Langford director of engineering, Michelle Mahovlich. “It’s giving a safe connection between the Galloping Goose and the E&N Rail Trail.”
When the CRD’s funding for the project fell through, Langford’s involvement in the project was momentarily questioned, but Mahovlich said, “At this point we’re still looking ahead at proceeding.”
The lanes will be built on the opposite side of the railroad tracks. The area allows for a very restricted work space, which has contributed to some design delays, she said.
The stall to the CRD’s planned improvements also means some changes to Langford’s design. “Geographically we’ve moved the end of our project further away from the railway crossing.” Doing so would not trigger a requirement to redesign the intersection. “We never budgeted to do railway crossing upgrades,” she said, adding that work was included in the CRD’s improvement plans.
A Langford staff report estimated the connection project’s value at just under $643,000, with the Bike B.C. grant covering about 50 per cent.