Planning is on track for the for Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail Trail.
Following a Rail Trail Governance Advisory meeting on July 19, a communications plan and the engagement of technical expertise was established.
The communications plan will include a dedicated web page to post updates, schedules for public information sessions, a means of email contact and consultation with stakeholders along the corridor including agriculture, business and private properties.
Wayne Christian, Chief of Splatsin Kukpi7 and advisory chair, spoke to the importance of engaging the public and good communications.
“Let’s learn from the lessons on the Okanagan Rail Trail related to planning ahead, and let’s get out on the trail so we know what we are talking about with the public,” Christian said.
The Rail Trail Governance Advisory is made up of 14 representatives from the Secwepemc Nation, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD), and the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO). The communities of Sicamous, Enderby, Armstrong, Spallumcheen Township, Salmon Arm, Lumby, and Coldstream are also represented.
The Shuswap Trail Alliance is co-ordinating the day-to-day administration of the project. The alliance entered into a sub-consulting agreement with Urban Systems Limited to engage Thomas Simkins, Engineering Project Manager for the Okanagan Rail Trail. Simkins will act as lead Technical Design Consultant and Engineer-on-Record for the Sicamous-to-Armstrong trail.
Technical planning for the rail trail includes assessments for First Nations archaeological and cultural heritage values, as well as geotechnical, rock scaling, water drainage, erosion, road crossings and agricultural considerations.
Wayne Christian, RDNO chair, Mayor Kevin Acton, and CSRD chair Director Rhona Martin formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Inter-Jurisdictional partners. The memorandum outlines the three governments’ commitment to work together.