Completed South Slocan project improves safety, accessibility — MOTI
Paving is finished, and the new pedestrian and cycling tunnel is open, marking the completion of the South Slocan Overhead project said the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in a media release Thursday.
The aging structure, built in the early 1960s on Highway 3A/6 west of Nelson, was replaced with road fill for improved safety, efficiency and better trail access.
“We are happy to see this new tunnel open up underneath the highway, which will now ensure the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, who won’t have to cross the busy highway to use the amazing trail system in the area,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
“We know the local community is excited about this connection, and we encourage people to come out and explore this wonderful new link to the trail network near Nelson.”
The original two-lane South Slocan Bridge, which was built in 1962, was dismantled and replaced with a new two-lane rock fill, and a pedestrian and cycling tunnel. Copcan Civil Ltd., from Nanaimo, was awarded the contract for this project, which also included:
- significant rock blasting at Beasley Bluffs, to straighten out the approaches and improve sight lines;
- reconstruction of South Slocan Station Road to include a new cul-de-sac;
- a new southern terminus tail head; and
- four kilometres of asphalt-paved rail trail from South Slocan to the Pass Creek Road/Highway 6 intersection.
“This project has not only enhanced safety for trails users, but also increased access to recreational opportunities for visitors and B.C. residents,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
The $6.3-million project is approximately two kilometres north of the Highway 3A/6 Junction. Cost-sharing with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development, the Regional District of Central Kootenay and the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society made it possible to include the tunnel, and incorporate improvements to the rail trail.
- The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development cost-shared on the pedestrian tunnel and the trailhead construction, which includes a paved parking lot, access trails, picnic tables, kiosk and bike racks.
- The Regional District of Central Kootenay, on behalf of the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society, cost-shared on the pedestrian tunnel and asphalt paving of four kilometres of the southern rail trail, with a grant from the ministry’s BikeBC program.
- The paved rail trail from South Slocan to Pass Creek Road is an enhancement to multi-modal transportation in the area, connecting the community to local schools, the recently rebuilt Crescent Beach Regional Park and the Great Trail.