Bowen Park Trailway and Utility Upgrades FAQ
Q1: Why is this upgrade required?
- The sewer utility is approaching its capacity and needs to be upgraded to support future growth in the City, and ensure wastewater is conveyed in a safe, effective, and sustainable way.
- The sewer utility currently does not meet the City guidelines for seismic stability, which will be addressed through this project.
- The existing trailway is deteriorating in several locations and has grades that do not support accessibility. An opportunity exists to improve safety and utilization of the trail to promote Active Transportation.
Q2: Why does the sewer utility need to go through the Park? Is there not a better location for this?
The location of gravity sewers are generally based on topographic low points to maximize their service area. Using gravity to convey wastewater is preferable as this minimizes operational and capital costs as opposed to pumping.
Several alternate locations for the sewer utility were evaluated at the concept stage including Bowen Road and the Millstream Parkway. When considering all social, economic, and environmental factors, the current location of the sewer utility was preferred. More detailed information on the evaluation of options is available HERE.
Q3: What do the trailway improvements include?
Bowen Road is a major corridor in Nanaimo with high traffic volumes and no protected facilities for cyclists. The trail improvement will provide a safe alternative to cycling on Bowen Road, and provide formalized connections to major destination hubs including Downtown and the Hospital Area
The multi-use path upgrades achieve both asset management and optimization of the existing trailway which includes:
- Widening of the existing pathway from 3m to 4m
- Addition of trail lighting
- Green conflict paint at crossings
Q4: What is the impact to trees from construction?
Tree preservation on this project is paramount. At the start of design trees and vegetation have been mapped and catalogued to understand potential impacts the project may have. The goal of the City and this project is to avoid and minimize project-related impacts to the environment. Reducing the number of tree removals is a critical consideration that has guided the decision-making process to date, along with several iterations of arborist reviews of the work proposed.
Q5: I have heard that artificial lighting is bad for the environment. How will the new trail lighting affect the ecology of Bowen Park?
- Certain light spectrums can affect the natural rhythm of plants and wildlife. While the LED trail lighting proposed has this potential, it has been mitigated by controlling the limits of the lighting to the trailway footprint to the extent possible. Additional information on the lighting component of the project is available HERE.
Q6: How much will the improvements cost?
- The total project budget is approximately $3.64 million.
Q7: When will this be built?
- The project is expected to be tendered in February 2021 and will be constructed through the summer and fall months between May to October 2021
Q8: What trails or other facilities in Bowen Park will be affected during construction?
- Bowen Park is a busy place! The construction phase of the work will see the trailway closed, including the connection to Wakesiah Avenue for approximately 5 months. Some gravel and parking lot areas will be used as material laydown for the contractor.
- Signage will be in place to inform and direct the public to safe and alternate trails.
- Park facilities including the West Sportsfield, Bowen Centre, and the Disc Golf Course will be mostly unaffected.
Q9: How can I provide my input or comments?