Alternate route out of Alberni Valley still a possibility: McLeman

Delays are continuing in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District’s fight for an alternate way out of the Alberni Valley.

The Horne Lake connector route being considered by the Ministry of Transportation is outlined in green. Hwy. 4 between Port Alberni and Nanaimo is in red.

The Horne Lake connector route being considered by the Ministry of Transportation is outlined in green. Hwy. 4 between Port Alberni and Nanaimo is in red.

Delays are continuing in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District’s fight for an alternate way out of the Alberni Valley.

The Alberni-Clayoquot transportation committee, made up of representatives from the ACRD, Port Alberni Port Authority, Island Timberlands and the City of Port Alberni, met with Ministry of Transportation officials on Tuesday morning.

According to an MoT report, the Horne Lake connector is estimated at $79.7, $30 million more than an R.F. Binnie estimate provided in a prior study.

Coun. Jack McLeman said that little has come of the meeting.

“All we got is a pre-draft report on what their situation is. They haven’t really said anything,” said McLeman.

According to him, the MoT seemed  more keen on fixing up the existing highway than funding a new one.

“They’re quite interested in fixing up Hwy. 4… but all they’ve shown us is fix-ups around Cathedral Grove, mostly with the parking lot.”

According to an MoT report, there are $22.5 million of possible improvements proposed for Hwy. 4. These include $300,000 for a westbound acceleration lane at the Hwy. 4 and Hwy. 19 intersection, $1.6 million for a Cameron Lake beach access, $4.6 million for improvements around Angel Rock, $1.3 million for the Cathedral Grove parking area and $4 million for passing lane extensions.

Despite the delays, McLeman said he was optimistic about the ACRD’s prospects on an alternate route for the Valley.

“I don’t think they’re saying no yet but at the same time they’re not rushing to do it.”

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