The new Malahat Skywalk is expected to be completed by this summer. (Submitted graphic)

The new Malahat Skywalk is expected to be completed by this summer. (Submitted graphic)

Malahat Skywalk expected to be complete by this summer

$15-million project will see 650-metre elevated wooden pathway constructed

Construction is well underway on the new 650-metre elevated wooden pathway that is being built just north of the Malahat Summit.

Ken Bailey, general manager of the approximately $15-million Malahat Skywalk project, said the skywalk is expected to be completed by late this spring or early summer, in time for the upcoming tourist season, and he hopes the COVID-19 pandemic will be sufficiently dealt with by then for the structure’s inaugural season to be a busy one.

He said the tower that is being constructed for the skywalk is about halfway to its intended height, and about half of the columns are in place.

RELATED STORY: NEW 650-METRE SKYWALK TO BE BUILT ON THE MALAHAT

“People are really beginning to express interest in the project now that they see the columns being raised,” Bailey said.

“We hope the community will be proud of it when it’s completed and will want to share it with the world.”

The elevated wooden pathway is intended to bring a world-class tourism experience to Southern Vancouver Island.

A.Spire by Nature, a company led by two of the founding partners in the successful Sea to Sky Gondola near Squamish, and the Malahat Nation have partnered in the Malahat Skywalk project that intends to combine nature-based tourism with a cultural tourism experience.

The skywalk will see an elevated wooden pathway constructed through an arbutus forest leading to a gentle, accessible spiral ramp climbing up to a 40-metre high sightseeing lookout where visitors will witness magnificent views of the Finlayson Arm and distant coastal mountains.

The project will also see the construction of a welcome centre, retail stores and a coffee shop.

Bailey said about 25 workers from Kinsol, a local contracting company in Bamberton, are employed to build the structure.

“We are proud to be using local workers to build the project,” he said.

The Malahat Nation is currently involved in a number of major projects, including a huge film studio that is being proposed for the Malahat, near Mill Bay.

RELATED STORY: HUGE FILM STUDIO DEVELOPMENT PROPOSED FOR MALAHAT NATION LANDS

The First Nation is partnering with Victoria-based Alpha Select Production Services Inc. in the proposal to build an ambitious 80-acre studio project, which would be called Malahat Film Studios, on its land.

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robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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