The City of Kamloops has reached an agreement in principle to acquire a chunk of land CP Rail owns along West Victoria Street.
David Freeman, the city’s assistant development and engineering services director, told KTW the municipality wants to landscape the piece of land, stretching from west of the Sun Life Financial building to the Overlanders Bridge, as part of its roadwork in the area.
CP Rail values the land at about $200,000 and, in exchange, the city would build a $500,000, 700-metre-long iron fence between the rail line and the rear of businesses on the north side of the West Victoria.
The security fence would be decorative, seven-feet tall and stretch from the bridge to First Avenue.
Costs would be offset by a Transport Canada fund the city can apply for, which would cover half the cost of the fencing project to help even out the numbers in the swap, Freeman said.
City Chief Administrative Officer David Trawin told KTW earlier this year the railway has safety concerns regarding people crossing the track and cutting a chain link fence to access the South Thompson River, so the city is proposing to mitigate those concerns with better fencing in exchange for the land.
Providing security for both the businesses and railway, the fence is designed to be aesthetically pleasing, but also deter people from climbing over it.
“It’s really pointy,” Freeman said. “You won’t want to climb it,” he said, noting the chain link fence along the Riverside walking path would remain in place.
On the land to be acquired, the city plans to plant grass, mirroring landscaping and design along other parts of the downtown arterial route.
The area at the moment is often used as makeshift parking.
Trawin said the city is also exploring the possibility of fitting in some designated stalls.
“This would not be a cash addition to the project,” Trawin said, noting final costs will depend on how the agreement comes together.
Freeman said the city is hoping to finalize a deal with the railway over the winter months.