A one kilometer stretch of the Okanagan Rail Trail in Lake Country has been reworked and re-surfaced as a test to determine how best to transform it into a user friendly recreational corridor.
“The challenge for us is taking the existing rail bed and widening it out, but at the same time, making it structurally sound,” says project manager Andrew Albiston. “And we’re trying to make the best use of the material that was already in place.”
Four types of aggregate have been laid down to see which is preferable in terms of cost, durability and comfort for users.
Bailey Hatchwell was walking the improved section Wednesday and describes it as perfect. “Not as much rough terrain which makes it easier to go for a run or walk. Great improvement,” says Hatchwell.
Lake Country contracting company, Sureway Construction, donated equipment and expertise to building the test section. A company spokesperson says what they’ve learned will pave the way for the remainder of the trail improvement.
“They were figuring on about a kilometer a week, says Tom O’Rourke. “I think if we can do the rest like this section we might be able to get three or four kilometers in a week. So we can definitely speed things up.”
On Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, there’s a showcase event at the test section. People are invited to check out the re-surfacing and project officials will provide information and answer questions.