Sicamous to Armstrong rail trail could open by 2022 - InfoNews

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Sicamous to Armstrong rail trail could open by 2022

A section of the North Okanagan-Shuswap Rail Trail.
Image Credit: Regional District of North Okanagan
April 29, 2019 - 12:45 PM

NORTH OKANAGAN - The proposed Sicamous to Armstrong rail trail took a step closer to becoming a reality following a $500,000 grant from the provincial government.

The B.C. Rural Dividend Program $500,000 grant will go towards the $800,000 cost of planning and the design of the nearly 50 kilometres Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rails to Trails initiative, as well as completing environmental impact assessments, archeological and cultural assessments and engineering studies.

"I think the ultimately this is a regional asset for all of the North Okanagan and Shuswap areas," Columbia Shuswap Regional District team leader of community services Ryan Nitchie told iNFOnews.ca.

Nitchie said along with the potential for tourism the trail would serve as a physical link between all the communities between Armstrong and Sicamous.

Construction of the trail is dependent on a $13-million grant application made to the federal government. The grant is currently pending. Nitchie said the design and planning process would continue throughout 2019, and if the federal grant is successful, construction would start in 2020 and take two years. The trail would then likely open in 2022.

The Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rails to Trails is a joint initiative between the North Okanagan Regional District, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and Splatsin First Nation. In 2017 the regional districts purchased the disused railway corridor for $6-million, a third of the money came from the provincial government.

The $500,000 grant is part of $1.3 million announced April 27 by the B.C. Rural Dividend Program for 10 projects in the Shuswap, Armstrong and Vernon.

Find past stories on Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rails to Trails initiative here.

A map of the proposed trail from Sicamous to Armstrong.
A map of the proposed trail from Sicamous to Armstrong.
Image Credit: Columbia Shuswap Regional District

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