By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Oct. 16, 2013
The idea is noble: A trail that threads the far ends of our town in one shiny string.
It’s well-funded: The provincial government and our local government have poured hundreds of thousands into it.
And yet, seven years and $1.4 million later, the Corridor Trail has a key links missing for its completion.
The Corridor Trail, part of the TransCanada Trail, was first planned around 2006, and construction began in 2008, with funding from the federal and provincial grants.
“I don’t think anyone can deny it’s taken longer than anticipated.” Coun. Patricia Heintzman
It was to be completed in within one year of its construction, a trail that would form over half the route for the Sea to Sky Trail, connecting Squamish with D’Arcy.
“I don’t think anyone can deny it’s taken longer than anticipated,” said Coun. Patricia Heintzman.
Heintzman chaired the Corridor Trail committee when it was first started in 2007.
The $1.4 million project began in September 2008 with a completion date for one year.
But now the district hopes it will be complete by 2015.
“Our challenge is getting all the infrastructure projects done; we simply do not have the staff or capacity to get everything we need done,” Heintzman said.
Access to private property for the Corridor trails poses one challenge, she says.
“We don’t own all the land we need to north of Garibaldi Way. We knew this section was going to be a challenge when we started,” she said.
There were also ‘considerable’ environmental challenges with the south part of trail between Brennan Park and Cleveland Ave that also caused delays, she added.
Squamish Trails Society president Bob Brant said the Corridor Trail is a big boost to the trail network in town.
“We have a significant stretch of paved trails, and the fact that we have an overpass is huge,” he said.
Brant said the trails society believes in the vision of a ‘Spine Trail,’ which is one of the reasons it was part of the planning for the Corridor Trail.
“It’s taken some time, but this is a significant gain for the community,” Brant said.
Cliff Miller, president of Test of Metal, said volunteer groups have created more trails with smaller budget than that allotted to the Corridor Trail.
“Nothing should take six years to complete, there are too many people involved in these projects,” Miller said.
Since 2008, district has spent approximately $1,400 000 on the project.
In 2010 district built the section between Tantalus Road and Harris Road and improved sections between the Mamquam River Bridge and Mamquam Road.
In 2011, the section of trail between Clarke Drive and Scott Crescent was completed. The district currently has plans to pave this section and construct the final section between Garibaldi Way and Harris Road.
The plan is to design the remaining section in 2014, and build it in 2015.