Gold River’s council members communicated concerns about Highway 28 to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Claire Trevena.
The mayor and council had a virtual conference with Trevena during the course of the UBCM meetings that took place from Sept. 14-18.
In a news statement, Gold River’s mayor, Brad Unger, said that the members of council and the chief administrative officer discussed the overall condition of Highway 28 as the road is heaving substantially.
This includes the main portion of the highway linking Campbell River to Gold River along with the road towards the wharf, Grieg Seafood, West Coast Terminals and Mowachaht/Muchalaht properties.
“The Village of Gold River relies on the highway to be safe, and in good condition for not only our residents but for visitors and for those providing services or goods to the community. We have asked that the Ministry complete an overall road assessment, and provide upgrades, and review with village staff,” said the mayor in the statement.
The ministry responded and said that they will review their plans for overall works and are aware that the roads extending to Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations and Tahsis need to be addressed.
“The Ministry was somewhat unaware as to the boat visitor traffic to our area and will begin a review of the highway towards the Village wharf.”
Council and staff also informed the ministry that tourism growth has increased traffic/parking issues in Gold River, specifically at trailheads and pull-off areas.
Safety and congestion were identified as the two key drivers for this discussion.
“We have asked the Ministry to either expand the parking lots at trailheads or widen the shoulders to create parking off of the highway.”
Council also raised concerns over access to the village wharf due to the contested piece of roadway which runs through Mowachaht/Muchalaht Territory.
Council reiterated that this was in fact a provincial highway and that this needs to be clarified with all parties as uncertainty creates a significant difficulty in future planning the village wharf. The mayor said that Trevena acknowledged this issue and indicated negotiations were underway to once and for all, put the issue to rest.