Ucluelet is celebrating a long-awaited announcement as funding came in to fill in the gap between the community and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve ʔapsčiik tašii ̓ Trail.
“The ACRD has been working on this project for more than five years, through many grant applications, and we are pleased the missing link will finally be closed,” said Ucluelet mayor and ACRD Director Marilyn McEwen through the Feb. 22 announcement.
“With the completion of the apsčiik tašii trail in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, traversing the trail through Ucluelet, Tofino, ACRD, and the Park has become another popular tourist activity.”
Tofino wrapped up a 2.8 kilometre, $3.9 million, extension from its border to the Park Reserve’s 25 kilometre path in 2021, but the other end currently ends abruptly near the West Coast junction, leaving a treacherous 1.2 kilometre gap from Ucluelet’s Multi-use-path.
“The missing link has raised safety concerns as people use the shoulder of the highway to traverse the section not yet constructed,” the announcement reads.
The land is in Alberni Clayoquot Regional District territory and the ACRD announced last week that it had received a $500,000 grant from the BC Active Transportation Grant Program to fill in the gap.
The $500,000 grant adds to a $200,000 that the Island Coastal Economic Trust committed towards the project in 2020 as well as $700,000 from Canada Community Building Funding committed by the ACRD Board.
Design work is nearly complete and the ACRD expects to have the path’s construction complete by March 31, 2024.
“Completing this section of trail will address the many safety concerns raised by residents who are looking to use a separated path to bike, walk, or skate to and from any of the communities on the West Coast,” the announcement reads.