Construction continues on Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s $51M trail

Path through Park Reserve will link Tofino and Ucluelet.

Construction on the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s 22 kilometre multi-use trail has started up again after a temporary winter hiatus.

The Park Reserve issued a notice last month advising drivers to expect delays of up to 10 minutes on Wick Road. The notice states Wick Road is the first site for the crew to tackle this year because environmental consultants suggested the area’s stream crossings are currently dry and there is little risk to fish.

The 22-kilometre trail that will span the Park Reserve’s boundaries and link Tofino and Ucluelet was announced in 2016 and was initially expected to cost $17.7 million, but the budget has since grown to $51 million.

Parks Canada spokesperson Kavitha Palanisamy told the Westerly News via email that about $10 million has been spent so far on designing the trail, clearing pathways and conducting in-depth studies, including a Detailed Impact Analysis and archeology reports.

“The DIA comprises a number of environmental, archaeological, traditional-use studies and visitor safety assessments, and is the foundational document informing this project.,” she wrote. “All work was and continues to be scheduled around environmental factors such as the migratory bird nesting period and the presence of fish in streams. We have environmental monitors on site while construction is underway to ensure we are responding to local realities on the ground as the timing of cycles such as salmon spawning can change year to year.”

Copies of the DIA can be requested at

Throughout the trail’s design, the Park Reserve adapted the path’s alignment to lessen the path’s impact on the unique environment it’s being laid through and also followed a Traditional Use Study and advice from local First Nations to avoid any newly discovered archaeological sites.

“By being flexible and adaptable throughout the pathway-building process, we refined the pathway route and design to help reduce the risk of detrimental impacts to the National Park Reserve,” Palanisamy wrote.

Construction began at the Park Reserve’s northern border in 2016 where the trail bed was cleared and a new parking lot was created at Radar Hill. Over the winter of 2017-18, the route from Long Beach’s Incinerator Rock to the Park Reserve’s southern boundary was cleared and the felled trees were removed.

Following principles laid out by an Elders Working Group, the Park Reserve ensured that the removed cedar trees were used to create wooden elements along the pathway and all remaining trees were given to the Tla-o-qui-aht and Ucluelet First Nations, according to Palanisamy.

The work now underway at Wick Road includes clearing trees, bringing in gravel, installing drainage culverts and building bridges.

Hazelwood Construction Services Ltd. has been contracted to complete the work after winning a bidding process that included an Indigenous Benefits Package, which tasked interested contractors with explaining how they would directly benefit members of the Tla-o-qui-aht and Ucluelet First Nations.

Palanisamy noted that the Indigenous Benefits Package commits Hazelwood to providing 34,400 hours of employment and 11,400 hours of training for members of the Tla-o-qui-aht and Ucluelet First Nations.

The trail is expected to be ready for public use in 2022.

“We will have a better sense of when the pathway could be open as the building progresses. As stewards of the land, we are responsible for ensuring the building does not outpace our legal, environmental and social obligations,” Palanisamy wrote. “This includes our environmental obligations, such as respecting the nesting period for migratory birds, as well as minimizing disruption to visitors, where possible, and working with the challenges presented by wet conditions common in this coastal region.”

READ MORE: Cost of trail through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve up to $51 million

READ MORE: Budget for Pacific Rim National Park Reserve trail between Tofino and Ucluelet being reassessed

READ MORE: VIDEO: Tofino receives $2.3 million to connect bike path to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Just Posted

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Tofino’s West Coast Winter Music series warms hearts

Kicking off their 20th anniversary celebration is Pablo Cardenas’ Trio on Nov. 2.

Ucluelet’s Edge-to-Edge Marathon turns 20 this weekend

Over 400 runners get set for half-marathon or 10K distances.

WATCH: Tofino byelection candidates respond to community concerns at forum

Tofino will vote in a municipal byelection on Nov. 2.

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Most Read