Williams Lake City Council will be considering a grant application to build a boardwalk by the Williams River and Williams Creek.
If approved at Tuesday’s regular meeting, the $600,000 application through BC Active Transportation Infrastructure Grant Program would establish a trail link between the newly constructed RC Cotton Trail and the River Valley Recreation Trail.
Chief administrative officer Milo MacDonald calls it a great opportunity to enhance the value investments Council has already made to access the river valley.
“It has the potential to create an uninterrupted recreational corridor from Scout Island all the way to the Fraser River,” MacDonald said.
The City’s contribution would be $120,000 if it receives Indigenous support or partnership. Manager of Planning and Development, Hasib Nadvi said staff has had preliminary discussion with the Williams Lake Indian Band who expressed their interest in providing a letter of support.
“Staff had further reached out to the Cariboo Regional District regarding the proposal,” he added. “There may be opportunities to apply for other grant applications (e.g. NDIT Community Halls and Recreation Facilities) in the near future to support City’s contribution.”
Section 3.3.4 of the City Parks, Trail and Outdoor Recreation Master Plan outlines a vision of completing the River Valley Trail from the Lake to the Fraser River. Hasib said this requires connecting the approximately 800m between the RC Cotton Trail (past the Highway 20 bridge) and the River Valley trail.
“Staff believe that the most feasible and least invasive active transportation mode to create this connection will be through a boardwalk along the river. However, the final design to determine the type of connection will be subject to environmental, geotechnical, structural, and archaeological studies,” he noted. “The proposed connection will need right of ways over private properties, CN Rail/BC Rail property, and crown tenure. Staff are in preliminary discussions with CN Rail/BCR properties, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource and Rural Development (FLRORD), and Ministry of Transportation about the proposal. The boardwalk will end at the City-owned bridge connecting Tolko yards to the River Valley Trail.”