Adra Tunnel is off-limits to the public while work continues at the historic site that sits near the KVR Trail in Naramata. Despite signage and fencing, several cyclists have ignored safety warnings and attempted to enter the site, said the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS).
“This is a serious risk to everyone involved. Please respect all signage and the workers on site and avoid the area until further notice,” said the RDOS release.
Adra Tunnel was closed to the public in the early 1990s due to unstable conditions. Fires that were deliberately set in the tunnel in 2010 and 2012 destroyed all remaining timber supports, further deteriorating tunnel stability.
The 483-metre-long tunnel was originally excavated in 1913-14 as part of the development of the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR). Rail operations ceased in the 1970s. The province of B.C. subsequently purchased the KVR lands in 1990.
The RDOS is working with the Woodwackers 2.0 – a community group of about 20 volunteers from Naramata - who have made enormous contributions to the preservation of the KVR trail.
In the absence of public funding, they have raised over $300,000 in donations. Fueled by private donations and volunteer hours, the Woodwackers have been working quietly for two years to make progress on clearing the tunnel, advancing feasibility and engineering studies.
With approval from the Provincial Government, work to strengthen the Adra Tunnel is now underway. There is no set opening date for the tunnel.
Currently, Little Tunnel (as it is known) is a very popular destination for residents and tourists to bike and hike too along the historic KVR Trail.
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