Nanaimo’s trail system takes a step forward with a new link between Buttertubs Marsh and Bowen Park.
The paved pathway officially opened Thursday when representatives from several city departments, engineering and construction contractors and environmental groups gathered for a presentation near the trail head at Buttertubs Marsh Thursday.
The trail becomes a section of the Millstone Trail system – part of the Trans Canada Trail – that connects Vancouver Island University and Nanaimo District Secondary School campuses and the Larry McNabb Sport Zone with the city’s downtown trails and was part of the $3.7 million Millstone Trunk sewer replacement project completed earlier this year.
The city has upgraded multi-use trails and added commuter cycling as water and sewer upgrade projects have been completed in the Boundary Crescent and Townsite Road areas.
“It was a really substantial sewer project,” said Poul Rosen, city senior manager of engineering and public works.
The new sewer line lies about seven metres below the trail. Special environmental mitigation features, such as natural storm water filtration, were included to protect the Buttertubs Marsh and nearby waterways, such as the Millstone River.
Bill Merilees, field naturalist and chairman of the Buttertubs Marsh Liaison Committee, praised the city for its efforts to consult over environmental issues throughout the project.
“It was really good working relationship. It worked out really well and we’re happy with it,” Merilees said. “It’s not often environmentalists will say that, but it was.”
Jan Mongard, project manager, said the Millstone Trunk Sewer system, originally built in the 1970s, follows the Millstone River from near Woodgrove Centre to Maffeo Sutton Park where it connects with other lines that carry sewage to the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre on Hammond Bay Road.
“This was started in the ‘70s, but gradually we’ve found ourselves under capacity, so the long term plan is to replace and upgrade,” Mongard said. “This happened to be just the section for this year.”
The work was completed by Knappett Industries, Environmental Dynamics Inc., Tetra Tech EBA and Harold Engineering.