Finalizing rail trail buy

The City of Kelowna is in the process of finalizing purchase of the final piece of the Okanagan Rail Trail.

Andrew Gibbs, the inter-jurisdictional development team project manager for the trail, says the city is in negotiations with CN Rail to purchase a section of the abandoned rail line in the north end of the city.

“We didn’t need it in the short term, and because it was so challenging for everyone to come up with enough money to buy the corridor … we put an option to purchase on a land deal with CN,” said Gibbs.

“That option is coming to a close, so we’re in negotiations with CN now to talk about purchasing it.”

Gibbs says the purchase should close next month. The potential price for the approximately two-kilometre piece of the line between Gordon Drive and Ellis Street has not been disclosed.

Those talks are being handled in camera by city council.

Gibbs says design work for the additional portion of the trail is underway in anticipation of the purchase.

Construction of the remainder of the track is already underway, except for portions of the trail north of Kelowna Airport and through OKIB lands.

He expects construction to be mostly complete before the end of the year.

Kelowna, Lake Country, Okanagan Indian Band and the North Okanagan Regional District purchased the rail line, stretching from downtown Kelowna to Coldstream, from CN more than two years ago.

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