Editorial: Connector decision disappointing

The provincial transportation ministry has decided a second route into Port Alberni via Horne Lake is not viable.

The provincial transportation ministry has decided a second route into Port Alberni via Horne Lake is not viable, deflating decades of hope for Alberni Valley residents.

Instead, the ministry will spend $24 million on improvements to Highway 4 between the Alberni Summit (known locally as the ‘Hump’) and Angel Rock, an overhang at a particularly twisty part of the highway. The Horne Lake route was deemed too expensive at an estimated cost of $92 million, with a projected eight per cent of traffic from the North Island making use of the new route.

An engineering report and consultation on the improvements will take about a year.

The ministry brags that over the past five years the province has invested $1.8 million in ‘safety enhancements’ on the 40-kilometre stretch of road between the Highway 19 turnoff and Port Alberni, which begs the question: how much cumulatively has the province spent ‘improving’ that stretch? How would that compare to the $92 million price tag of a connector?

What will happen in the event of a major closure, if we needed to evacuate people from Port Alberni to the east side of the Island? We will still only have one route in and one route out.

Port Alberni city councillor Jack McLeman is right: this decision is shortsighted.

If a silver lining could come out of this decision, it is the hope that government transportation dollars saved will fall favourably on the Bamfield Road to have it paved, and even better, to complete a circle route to Lake Cowichan.

editor@albernivalleynews

facebook.com/albernivalleynews

twitter.com/alberninews

 

 

Just Posted

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Meet the candidates for the Courtenay-Alberni riding

In an effort to inform the Courtenay-Alberni riding constituents, we have supplied… Continue reading

City of Port Alberni offers support after fatal bus crash

Two University of Victoria students killed after crash en route to Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

Participants double at Parkinson’s Superwalk in Port Alberni

Second annual event also saw an increase in funds raised

Alberni School District considers three name changes

Neill Elementary, Ucluelet Secondary and school district identified for new names

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

VIDEO: We’re not ‘cold-blooded killers’ of bears, B.C. conservation officer says

When it’s a matter of public safety, the animals pay the ultimate price

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Most Read