Donate Now Erosion repair work on RDNO Portion of Okanagan Rail Trail in September

Posted on August 22, 2019


Part of the reason that the Okanagan Rail Trail is so popular is because it runs alongside two emerald green lakes, Kalamalka and Wood Lake. These beautiful neighbours to the trails also cause erosion that eat into the width of the rail trail. Every wave that touches the side of the path takes sand and materials with it, and over time, the pathway becomes narrower. With less room for two-way pedestrian and bike traffic, safety issues mount and the risk for potential injury rise. The erosion is an immediate threat to the longevity of the Okanagan Rail Trail, and the RDNO will be working on mitigating the erosion in the RDNO owned section beginning in September.

Unfortunately, this will mean inconveniences for our users for the month of September. The work will mean that there will be some days with one way pedestrian and biking traffic, and no access temporarily to certain portions of the trail for up to 10 hours at a time. The trail will remain open and accessible on evenings by 5pm and all weekends. Special events that have been approved for the Okanagan Rail Trail will not be affected.

While the RDNO prefers to give much more notice of work like this, we received the final permits for all areas of the work on August 21 and were given a window to finish the work from September 1 to 30. The timeline means we won’t impact Kokanee salmon runs in Kalamalka Lake, which is very important to us. We won’t begin the work until after the Labour Day long weekend, but are planning to mobilize to the sites on September 3, 2019.

We expect to receive a more detailed construction schedule at the end of next week (August 30) and will share as soon as we have confirmed details. Updates will be posted at www.rdno.ca/ORTwork.

Background In 2016, the spring freshet in Kalamalka Lake led to high water levels that caused serious damage and significantly eroded the Okanagan Rail Trail. The RDNO has been working to secure permits to fix this damage for the last few years, and have finally received the final approvals on August 21, 2019.