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

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Sandra Allison and Dr. Charmaine Enns joined school district senior staff for a virtual town hall meeting to address the latest COVID concerns in schools. Image, screenshot
No secondary cases in Comox Valley schools, say health officers

School district hosts virtual town hall to address recent COVID-19 cases in schools

One of the rescues at CATS - Cat Advocates Teaching & Saving Society’s new location on Knight Road in Comox. Photo by Erin Halushak
Feline rescue organization growing into new space

Cat Advocates Teaching & Saving Society opens new facility on Knight Road

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Neighbours have reached out to media on several occasions with complaints about the property

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Tentative COVID-19 vaccine site chosen in the Comox Valley

B.C. is moving into Phase 2 of its COVID-19 mass immunization plan

Cumberland is considering downtown densification proposals, and with that comes questions around parking, among other things. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Water bottling ban, parking key changes for Cumberland zoning

Bylaw on amendments still need adoption following March 2 hearing

Sean LaFleur and Geoff Piper of Courtenay Nissan will be running 4 miles every 4 hours all weekend long in a fundraising campaign for YANA (You Are Not Alone).
VIDEO: Courtenay Nissan hosting YANA fundraiser

Courtenay Nissan is hosting a special YANA fundraiser all weekend long, from… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Burnaby Mounties responded to 56 complaints and issued 10 tickets to people flouting COVID-19 restrictions in February. (Patrick Davies/100 Mile Free Press)
COVID denier fined $2,300 for hosting gathering in her home: Burnaby RCMP

The woman told Mounties she does not believe the pandemic is real

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

The Courtenay Fire Department hopes to start a new recruit training program in mid-2021, pending Provincial Health Orders. Scott Stanfield photo
Courtenay Fire Department gets creative

Due to public health orders resulting from COVID, the Courtenay Fire Department… Continue reading

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Most Read