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LETTER: Why are we starting from square one on an alternate route?

Over the years there have been studies and committees exploring the options and costs…

To the Editor,

I am very disappointed that our city and regional district are starting from square one regarding an alternate highway route out of the Alberni Valley.

Over the years there have been studies and committees exploring the options and costs.

Letters from people like the ill-informed Joe Sawchuks of Duncan keep repeating the Ministry of Transportation diatribe about it being too expensive an option and stating Highway 4 is a “safe and reliable route.”

Both were proved wrong this summer!

The cost of the Horne Lake Connector was under $100 million at the last estimate. The costs to the local and West Coast economy already cost more than the connector would have.

Reliability is gone with winter rain events and trees that will continue to fail over the next few years.

One road block to the Horne Lake route was a vigorous lobby by the few hundred property owners at Horne Lake that don’t want the traffic. But what about the 30,000 to 40,000 residents west of Cameron Lake who were held hostage for half the summer?

I implore the ACRD to review the engineering reports, traffic counts and positive information collected by the last ACRD and Port Authority Transportation Committee, over a year and a half ago, that all pointed to the Horne Lake Connector from just above Coombs Country Candy to the Horne Lake junction on the Inland Island Highway as the best, safest and least expensive alternative. This would save time both going north to Comox and south to Nanaimo.

Plus, the lesser grades would be freight and truck friendlier and it is in a lower and less snowfall-prone region than the Cameron Valley below Mount Arrowsmith.

It’s time some common sense prevailed and something got done.

Bob Cole,

Former transportation

committee member,

Port Alberni