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The annual construction on the Rail Trail in the North Okanagan and Shuswap has resumed, with the completion of a two-kilometer section in Enderby last year. The trail is expected to be 50 kilometers in length and will traverse various landscapes including lakefront shorelines, forested hillsides, streams, and farmlands, as well as rural towns. The finished surface will be suitable for pedestrian and bicycle use, with pedal-assisted E-bikes allowed and dogs on leash permitted. Motorized vehicles and equestrian use will not be allowed on the trail.

This spring and summer, rail trail work within the regional district will take place between kilometers 1.5 to 4.5, as well as sections south of kilometers 42 to Stepney X Road, and between kilometers 49 and 50 at Lansdowne Road in Armstrong. Funding attempts are also underway to build a pedestrian overpass at Highway 97 and for construction from Stepney X Road to Lansdowne Road. The trail follows a decommissioned train line, with the Splatsin Development Corporation as the primary construction contractor.

A public hearing is set to take place on April 10 regarding a one-kilometer stretch near Sicamous where water-front landowners have raised concerns. A zoning bylaw to allow the rail trail to proceed was voted down by the District of Sicamous, leading to the public hearing. An online petition has been started to have the bylaw amendment become law, garnering over 900 signatures. The finished rail trail is expected to provide access for pedestrians and cyclists, with beautiful views and connections to rural communities along the route.

Overall, the construction of the Rail Trail in the North Okanagan and Shuswap is progressing, with work set to take place in various sections within the regional district. The trail will provide a non-motorized transportation option for pedestrians and cyclists, with features such as crushed and compacted aggregate surfaces suitable for various users, including those using pedal-assisted E-bikes. While some water-front landowners have raised concerns, efforts are being made to address these issues through public hearings and petitions.

The completion of the rail trail will provide a recreational and transportation resource for residents and visitors, offering opportunities to explore the natural beauty and rural communities of the North Okanagan and Shuswap. The trail will follow the route of a decommissioned train line, providing a unique and scenic pathway for users to enjoy. With ongoing construction and funding efforts, the regional district aims to create a safe and accessible trail for all to enjoy, while preserving the natural environment and cultural heritage of the area.

As construction continues on the Rail Trail, efforts are being made to address concerns from local landowners and ensure that the trail meets the needs of the community. By allowing pedal-assisted E-bikes, dogs on leash, and restricting motorized vehicles and equestrian use, the trail will be a welcoming and inclusive space for a variety of users. With the support of the community and local organizations such as the Splatsin Development Corporation, the completion of the rail trail will provide a valuable asset for the region, promoting outdoor recreation and active transportation.

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