On Feb. 1, 2020, Bamfield Road was closed due to extensive damage from a rainstorm. (FACEBOOK PHOTO COURTESY KEN KING)

Area officials call for urgent response to Bamfield Road issues

Alberni Clayoquot Regional District board writes to premier in wake of winter storm road washout

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District is asking the province for upgrades to the Bamfield Road — now.

The ACRD board agreed on Wednesday, Feb. 26 to write a letter to Premier John Horgan, expressing urgency in upgrading the Bamfield Road and asking the premier to meet his public commitment to upgrading the road.

Huu-ay-aht First Nations, located in Anacla, has been campaigning for decades to chip seal the road between Port Alberni and Bamfield, but a fatal bus crash that claimed the lives of two University of Victoria students in September 2019 highlighted the urgency of the safety concerns. A working group was formed in November, bringing together stakeholders from Port Alberni, Bamfield, Anacla and the province in order to improve the conditions of the 85-km logging road.

READ MORE: Bamfield Road safety concerns resurface after fatal bus crash

Bamfield director Bob Beckett provided an update to the ACRD board on Wednesday. After heavy rains in February, a bridge at the 45-km mark of Bamfield Main was washed out, temporarily halting traffic. That portion of the road is owned by Western Forest Products and replacement of the bridge was delayed by the WFP strike, according to the Huu-ay-aht.

A detour has been set up around the bridge, but this has added almost an hour to the drive to and from Bamfield, said Beckett. Bridge repair work began on Monday, Feb. 24 and is expected to take 10-14 days to complete.

READ MORE: Forestry workers vote for new agreement, ending 8-month strike on Vancouver Island

Beckett said on Wednesday that Bamfield residents are frustrated by the delay in storm repairs, the lack of road maintenance and the lack of communication from the province.

“Something has to be done,” said Beckett. “Our viability is critical. Without improvements to that road, I don’t know what our future holds for us.”

Beckett also pointed out that Wilson’s Transportation has discontinued bus service to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre in the wake of the September accident.

READ MORE: Bus carrying students crashed in Bamfield after it moved for another vehicle

“The ripple effect of that news could have a devastating impact on the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre—the largest employer in Bamfield—and for tourism in general,” said Beckett.

The ACRD board voted unanimously to send a letter to the premier.

“The loss of that bridge and the ridiculously slow remediation…it just doesn’t make political sense to me,” said Beaver Creek director John McNabb on Wednesday.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional DistrictBamfield

Just Posted

Vancouver Island sisters surprised to find themselves reunited at seniors care home after years apart

Eden Gardens Nanaimo staff member noticed new care home resident’s resemblance to another resident

Victoria Police see new trends in calls due to COVID-19

Police link jump in domestic, mental health calls to pandemic

PQBeat Podcast: Talking cars with Philip Wolf and Peter McCully

Listen: Chat includes best and worst vehicles, dream rides and more

PHOTOS: Victoria photographer documents families in isolation with the Front Door Project

Using a longer lens, Chelsea Smith is able to take family portraits from across the street

Vancouver Islanders step up to mask the response to COVID-19

Amateurs and professionals alike are sewing masks to stave off expected shortages

Speed, alcohol not ruled out as factors in crash that left one person dead

Police watchdog, Campbell River Major Crimes Unit are investigating

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

Duncan man asks community to donate RVs to essential workers in need of quarantine

Ryan Oakley creates a Facebook group to help coordinate the effort

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

Most Read