Progress on trail connecting Parksville, French Creek and Coombs

Design work is expected to start this month and the project is slated for completion in 2015

Regional District of Nanaimo CAO Paul Thorkelsson said staff have taken “the first step” in building a trail connecting Parksville, French Creek and Coombs.

Thorkelsson said the RDN awarded a $184,748 contract to Koers and Associates Engineering, one of nine proposals which won the bid last week.

The money comes from a $2.6 million federal gas tax program grant to be used for “regionally significant projects.”

Thorkelsson said design work is expected to start in April and the project is slated for completion in 2015.

“It’s a great project and it’s very exciting to see it happen,” he said. “It boads well for the future as far as transportation and linking electoral areas and municipalities — it’s a good news story for sure.”

Thorkelsson said a number of years ago the RDN undertook a review and preliminary design evaluation for a regional trail system throughout the E&N corridor which divided the corridor into a series of trail projects.

“So when the funds were made available we made this a first priority project,” he said.

“This is the first of what could be a series of significant trails along the E&N corridor — it’s all a question of resources.”