City council has approved a grant application to the provincial government’s Community Recreation Program for $550,676 to construct an underpass of the CN lines at the former Praxair location on Mackenzie Avenue to give the public safe access to the River Valley Trail system.
In addition to the grant money, if successful, the City would contribute an additional $137,669, with hopes that CN will contribute toward the City’s share of the cost.
Chief Administrative Officer Brian Carruthers told council the City had preliminary discussions with CN Rail about the site a year a half ago and the possibility of the underpass being done from the CN’s perspective.
“There are some challenges,” Carruthers said at Tuesday’s council meeting.
“CN has to maintain the line to be open for rail traffic during the construction so it’s a very limited window of time to actually put the structure in place, but it certainly can be done.
“The project is going ahead on an 80-20 per cent split with 20 per cent being the City’s commitment.”
Coun. Ivan Bonnell said he approves of the application and said he appreciated staff being “shelf ready” with an application when the government announces funding opportunities.
Mayor Kerry Cook agreed, adding she thinks it’s an exciting project and added the City will be sending a copy of the application to Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett.
Coun. Geoff Bourdon wondered if the City has to wait for a financial commitment from CN to proceed with the application, but heard there isn’t time and the application was going to be submitted after the council meeting to meet the submission deadline of Dec. 28.