DCN ARCHIVES

October 31, 2012

Trans Canada Trail completion by 2017 will require major construction and engineering

FREDERICTON

The final 6,200 kilometres of the Trans Canada Trail are targeted to be open for Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1, 2017, the project’s national director told delegates at the recent Transportation Association of Canada annual conference.

“When complete, the Trans Canada Trail will stretch 23,000 kilometres from the Atlantic to the Pacific and the Arctic Oceans, linking 1,000 communities and all Canadians,” said Jane Murphy, national director for the Trans Canada Trail. “It will be the longest and grandest recreational trail in the world.”

In 1992, the idea was formulated to take the historic routes, paths, waterways, rail lines and roads which wind across Canada and join them to form a national recreational trail. Today, the trail is 73 per cent complete and is accessible to 80 per cent of Canadians.

“The trail is attracting growing national and international attention as a must-visit recreation and tourism destination,” Murphy said.

“It offers a unique way to experience our diverse landscapes, history and culture. It has captured the hearts and minds of Canadians from every region and every walk of life.”

Murphy said the development of the trail is one of the largest volunteer projects ever undertaken in Canada with over 100,000 volunteers.

More than 400 local trail groups, municipalities and conservation authorities have helped fundraise, build and manage local sections of the trail.<0x000A>Along with private sponsorships, the federal government has been a major supporter of the trail for many years and recently donated $10 million through Parks Canada.

Another $150 million is needed to finish the trail by 2017. As fundraising continues, work on the trail is progressing. However, Murphy said there are still more than 200 identified gaps in the trail, ranging from urban connector links to rugged wilderness.

Some require major engineering and construction to overcome rugged terrain, while others require thoughtful design to protect environmentally-sensitive areas. A detailed connection strategy has been developed to integrate and finish the trail from coast to coast.

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