Bowen Island Municipality has hired Triex Contracting for construction of Phase 1 of the Multi-Use Path (MUP), a new section that will connect the existing path next to the Bowen Island Community School to Carter Road.
Moving quickly along, contractors will begin construction in March, with an anticipated 13-week schedule. The objective is to start construction as soon as possible in order to complete Phase 1 by June 2021, and to complete enough construction by the end of March in order to qualify for Bike BC funding.
The total $885,000 budget for Phase 1 includes $495,000 of confirmed grant funding and $390,000 of municipal funding. The tender was competitive and resulted in a low bid from Triex, a reputable contractor that has performed well on previous municipal construction projects. Council approved the award to Triex based on their low bid of $547,565.00 + GST.
Phase 1 will provide a safe MUP connection between BICS and Carter Road. Another key component of this phase is an intersection improvement at Mount Gardner Rd, which is particularly busy with ferry marshalling and student traffic. The improvement will have better sightlines and traffic calming to help maintain safe vehicle speeds and awareness of pedestrians.
BIM has applied for additional grant funding, and depending on the outcomes, may be able to proceed with additional sections of the Cross Island MUP in 2021.
The MUP is the cornerstone of the Transportation Plan adopted in 2018, which outlined a high demand for active transportation infrastructure to make walking and cycling around the island safer and easier.
Of the 75 kilometres of public roads on the island, less than 0.5 km have sidewalks and those are only within Snug Cove. Roads on the remainder of the island are built to a rural standard (single lane in each direction) with little or no shoulders. The shoulders that are available are gravel and often narrow and not level. Pedestrians and cyclists are usually forced onto the vehicular travel lanes for part or all of their trip. And the hilly island terrain results in many steep and winding roads that create additional hazards for those that brave walking or cycling.
The MUP is an important step in the Municipality’s commitment to realizing Vision Zero – to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries through safe, healthy and equitable mobility for all.