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Okanagan rail trail get wheelchair ready

The trail is said to be wheelchair, stroller and even road bike accessible upon completion. The estimated $7.8 million dollar project is currently underway. Brad Clements hopes these test sections can shave a few dollars off the final price.

“Will it truly be $7.8 million dollars? Hopefully, it might even be a bit less,” Says Clements, a volunteer Trail Ambassador.

These test sections will exist in different communities but have yet to be identified. Therefore, the test sections are not officially open to the public at this time. The campaign to build the trail started last spring and has almost raised half of the estimated amount.

“Last year was a fantastic start to the campaign. The campaign started at the end of May and was able to raise $2.6 million from a little over 3,400 individual donors,” he says.

Clements says the Rail Trail will be a gravel foundation, but a sturdy one.

“At any point in the future, the trail can be paved. So it’s being designed so that asphalt can be added later. What we learned in talking with other groups that have built trails is they said just build a very high-quality, strong foundation; proper ditching; make sure bridges are good; like build a quality trail.”

Once the trails get used, then they can decide which sections should be paved based on which sections get the most traffic.

“So this is going to be awesome for you know strollers, wheelchairs, you’ll be able to ride a road bike down it.”

Construction has already begun and Clements is hopeful the entire project will be completed within the next year. The timing of the completed project depends on each community’s level of involvement with the project.

Click here for more information on the Okanagan Rail Trail.

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