HANNA PETERSEN PHOTO                                One of the attractions spotted along San Jo Main.

HANNA PETERSEN PHOTO One of the attractions spotted along San Jo Main.

Road to Cape Scott facing multiple summer closures

North Island officials concerned with timing of San Josef Main Forest Service Road upgrades

Access to one of the Island’s most picturesque spots is about to get a little, well, spotty.

And it has North Island officials concerned.

The San Josef Main Forest Service Road — the access to the parking lot of Cape Scott Provincial Park — will be closed this summer and fall for days at a time to accommodate the upgrade of several bridges and crossings.

In response, the Regional District of Mount Waddington has written a letter to the Ministry of Forest, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, expressing concern over the selected dates and the length of closures.

A release from the ministry of Forests explains that “In 2018 we are planning to replace seven bridges and one embedded CMP between 14.7km and 16km. We are not planning any road closures in the months of July or August, however, if weather conditions in June are too wet, we may need to shut down during July. We will not impact any long weekends.”

The release specifically states that San Josef Main will be closed for bridge construction from:

• Monday June 18- Thursday June 21 2018

• Monday June 25- Thursday June 28 2018

• Tuesday Sept 4- Friday Sept 7 2018

• Tuesday Sept 11- Friday Sept 14 2018

“It’s right in the middle of the busiest season,” said RDMW Chair Andrew Hory, during a presentation by Duncan Taggart from the Ministry of Forest Lands and Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, at the RDMW’s March 20 board meeting.

“It’s not a good time in our opinion to close those bridges and if they are able to do it at an alternative time that would be helpful,” stated Hory, who also added that length of closures would mean stopping all traffic for four days at a time.

San Josef Main is the only way for tourists to access popular destinations like the north coast beaches, Cape Scott Provincial Park, and the North Coast Trail. It’s also the only access point for communities like Holberg and Winter Harbour to connect with Highway 19.

“It’s definitely going to hurt,” said Coun. and Port Hardy Board Representative John Tidbury, adding, “With those roads, there’s no way around them – When it’s down, it’s down.”

Taggart responded, stating that he would take note of the issue and follow up with the ministry.