A municipal referendum proposal is being advanced that asks residents if they support a new crossing over Roger Creek at 10th Avenue

A municipal referendum proposal is being advanced that asks residents if they support a new crossing over Roger Creek at 10th Avenue

Referendum would decide Roger Creek crossing: Chopra

A referendum on whether or not Alberni Valley residents would pay for a new Roger Creek crossing would settle the matter once and for all.

A referendum on whether or not Alberni Valley residents would pay for a new Roger Creek crossing would settle the matter once and for all, Coun. Hira Chopra said.

Chopra advanced a notice of motion about a referendum involving a new crossing at council’s Jan. 27 meeting. The motion would read to the effect of ‘Would you be in favour of a new 10th Avenue crossing for the price of….’.

“Lots of people who grew up here ask all the time about this. Taxpayers will be the ones to pay for this and they deserve to know how much it will cost and to have their say,” Chopra said after the meeting.

Chopra referred to two referendums that were held about the matter: one in 1981 and the second in 1983. “Both times the people said yes but the government didn’t have the money. It’s business that was left undone,” he said.

According to city records, the question in the 1981 referendum was ‘Are you in favour of a second crossing of Roger Creek’; 3,161 people said yes and 1,110 said no. In a companion question about where they would prefer it, 2,856 said 10th Avenue and 868 said 21st Avenue.

In 1983, 2,994 people said yes and 2,269 said no.

The initiative was based on the city paying for half the cost of the project and the Ministry of Transportation paying for the other half. The program the ministry would have used for funding was scrapped and the project fizzled.

A referendum now wouldn’t cost anything extra to have because it could piggy-back the civic election, which is being held in November. “It would cost between $10,000 to $20,000 otherwise,” Chopra said.

Such a referendum would bring a sense of closure or hope, Chopra said. “If taxpayers are willing to pay then we can go ahead. If not, then that (issue) is closed.”

The cost of a new bridge would start at between $10 million to $15 million, city manager Ken Watson said. Building techniques are different today than they were in the early 1980’s, he added. “Some of the methods wouldn’t be considered environmentally sound today.”

While a study with cost estimates was done for the previous referendums the information is three decades old, city engineer Guy Cicon said.

A new study would have to be carried out that would examine the nitty-gritty details of a bridge: would it run to Tebo Avenue or Ian Avenue, where would it be placed, how long, how wide, what are the approaches, etc. “These things and more are what needs to be pinpointed,” Cicon said.

The city had earmarked $40,000 for such a study in last year’s budget but the plan was scratched in a move to reduce taxes and the money re-allocated.





Just Posted

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van burst into flames just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Kids from a MOSS Sailing Camp sail just off Canal Waterfront Park in Alberni Inlet during a day camp in August 2014. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)
MOSS Sailing camps return to Alberni Valley

One-week camps designed for kids will take place at Sproat Lake

Robert Gunn of Alberni Climate Action loads garbage discovered in the Alberni Inlet around Cous Creek into his canoe during a recent ocean shoreline cleanup. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Alberni Climate Action group creates NIC scholarship

Students attending college full time may apply through NIC

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens after accident at Taylor River Flats

Multi-vehicle crash had closed highway to west coast

The Rollin Art Centre is holding children’s art camps this summer. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
ARTS AROUND: Celebrate art in the garden

Rollin Art Centre will host art event on Saturday, June 26

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read