Comox Valley north connector off back burner

Elected officials discussed the concept of a north connector that would link the Old Island Highway to the Inland Island Highway.

Elected officials discussed the concept of a north connector that would link the Old Island Highway to the Inland Island Highway at a Thursday forum at the regional district boardroom.

In a presentation to CVRD directors and municipal councillors, City of Courtenay CAO David Allen said the “circuitous” route from Veterans Memorial Parkway to Piercy Road is indirect and confusing with limited capacity, especially at the single-lane Tsolum River Bridge.

The solution would be a two-kilometre stretch with a new bridge that would be a primary link from the airport to Mount Washington.

A connector would support development activity, such as the 1,000 new residential units proposed north of the Puntledge and a 2,500-unit proposal at Raven Ridge. It would also increase safety and emergency response times, improve road spacing and network redundancy, and support business and tourism.

By increasing capacity and accessibility, Allen said a north connector could help relieve pressure at Puntledge and Courtenay river crossings, and at routes into and through downtown.

“I think it’s vital we get it done,” Area B director Jim Gillis said.

Valley delegates discussed the proposal with Transportation Minister Todd Stone at the recent Union of B.C. Municipalities convention — but the Province is “running a tight ship” in terms of spending in the near future, Allen cautioned.

Comox Mayor Paul Ives suggests efforts might be better focused on replacing the bridge.

“Money is going to be tight,” he said, noting the Province plans to replace the Massey Tunnel south of Vancouver by 2017.

Comox Coun. Barbara Price concurs a concerted effort to make a plea for a bridge might be a better idea.

“The issue is not a bridge, it’s the north connector, which includes a bridge,” said Courtenay director Jon Ambler.

But Ambler also feels the idea of the one-way Tsolum River Bridge serving as a permanent cog in the local traffic system “shows badly on the Comox Valley.

“The concept of eliminating a choke point is well worth doing,” he said. “If you have another bridge, you have another opportunity. This is an opportunity to make things better for the entire Comox Valley.”

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Comox Valley golfers prepare for another 55+ Games

Competition, camaraderie name of the game

Comox Valley firefighters assist with wildfire effort

Four Courtenay firefighters are in Fort St. James helping with the fight… Continue reading

Woman rescued from Stotan Falls calling for safety measures

3L Developments did not comment on immediate plans to add safety precautions

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

More than 22,000 blood donors needed

Canadian Blood Services is urging Canadians to help meet patients’ needs this… Continue reading

Kim XO is Black Press Media’s fashionista

Starting Sept. 7, stylist Kim XO will host Fashion Fridays on the Life channel on Black Press Meida

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

UPDATED: Vancouver Island community under evacuation alert due to wildfire

BC Wildfire Service says steep terrain near Zeballos poses challenge as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

Most Read