Sicamous will conduct a feasibility study on a possible active transportation crossing of the Sicamous Narrows.
Currently, the only way to get from one side to the other – besides a boat – is by using the very busy Trans-Canada Highway bridge.
The bridge has been closed several times in recent memory due to accidents on the span, and is not the most welcoming for cyclists or pedestrians with only two lanes, no cycling lane or separation between traffic and the sidewalk.
The district will use a $50,000 grant from the federal government to determine next steps for a pedestrian and cycling bridge that would cross between Old Spallumcheen Road and green space at the foot of Main Street.
The narrows separate Mara and Shuswap lakes and are busy with marinas and summer boat traffic.
"Supporting the feasibility study for the Sicamous Narrows bridge crossing will help us determine how we can make travel in the district easier, more convenient, and safe," minister Harjit S. Sajjan said when the funds were announced.
"This will be a great project for all of us to be proud of," said Mayor Colleen Anderson.
"A pedestrian bridge would be an amazing attraction for Sicamous tourism and enable all residents to connect to the west side of the narrows, enjoy the views, and access the new rail trail. This is inclusive of our live more, live well strategy."
The bridge would provide a direct link between the town centre and communities located west of the Narrows, as well as to the future Shuswap North Okanagan Rail Trail.
The feasibility study will consider Sicamous' draft Active Transportation Network Plan, capital plans and previous community engagement.
Key considerations will include civil and structural engineering capabilities as well as the environmental and archeological implications of the project.