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Okanagan Rail Trail Work


Fall and Winter Erosion Work

Update, August 30: The Fall erosion construction schedule has been released. Read the media release to learn more, and view the construction schedule and maps below. Click on each pam to view a larger version, or click here to view our information sheet

 


Update, August 22: Part of the reason that the Okanagan Rail Trail is so popular is because it runs alongside two emerald green lakes, Kalamalka and Wood Lake. These beautiful neighbours to the trails also cause erosion that eat into the width of the rail trail. Every wave that touches the side of the path takes sand and materials with it, and over time, the pathway becomes narrower. With less room for two-way pedestrian and bike traffic, safety issues mount and the risk for potential injury rise. The erosion is an immediate threat to the longevity of the Okanagan Rail Trail, and the RDNO will be working on mitigating the erosion in the RDNO owned section beginning in September.

Unfortunately, this will mean inconveniences for our users for the month of September. The work will mean that there will be some days with one-way pedestrian and biking traffic, and no access temporarily to certain portions of the trail for up to 10 hours at a time. The trail will remain open and accessible on evenings by 5pm and all weekends. Special events that have been approved for the Okanagan Rail Trail will not be affected.

While the RDNO prefers to give much more notice of work like this, we received the final permits for all of the work on August 21 and were given a window to finish the work from September 1 to 30. The timeline means we won’t impact Kokanee salmon runs in Kalamalka Lake, which is very important to us. We won’t begin the work until after the Labour Day long weekend but are planning to mobilize to the sites on September 3, 2019.

We expect to receive a more detailed construction schedule at the end of next week (August 30) and will share as soon as we have confirmed details. Updates will be posted at www.rdno.ca/ORTwork.

Background
Past flooding events on Kalamalka Lake led to high water levels that caused serious damage and significantly eroded the Okanagan Rail Trail. The RDNO has been working to secure permits to fix this damage for the last few years, and have finally received the final approvals on August 21, 2019.

Winter Erosion Work

Additional erosion mitigation work will be underway this winter on narrow sections when less people are accessing the Okanagan Rail Trail to limit disruptions. Additional information on these sections will be brought forward as soon as possible, and is outlined in the RDNO’s 2020 capital budget. 

We thank the community and visitors for their patience during this time.


Westkal Parking Lot Paving and North Extension

Update, July 31: The parking area at Westkal Road in Coldstream will be closed starting early August to complete upgrades to sections adjacent to the Okanagan Rail Trail (ORT). Access to the trail will remain open throughout construction, and the parking area will re-open as soon as upgrades are complete.

The major components of these upgrades include increased safety and mitigation of exposed slopes and erosion. The parking area will be paved and there will be designated walking paths from user vehicles to the trail entrance. This will result in a more established parking area, with the trail access points better defined and clearly visible.

Alternate ORT Access Points:

  • The District of Coldstream has recommended that users park in the Coldstream Parking Lot located at 16506 Kalamalka Road.
  • The RDNO has a parking lot on Bailey Road, located at 201 BC-97 that can be utilized by the public, and is a connection between the Kal Crystal Waters trail and the ORT. Please note that this slope is slightly steeper, so users are encouraged to take this into consideration when planning their trip.

Trail users can to visit the interactive map at www.okanaganrailtrail.ca to see parking options.

Next Steps:

The North Extension of the ORT will begin after the Westkal Road parking area is complete. The North Extension is the final stretch of the RDNO’s portion of the trail, and will complete the base trail construction and wayfinding signage.