Have to admit, highway upgrade looks pretty nice

I know. It’s not politically correct to say something positive about public construction projects.

I know. It’s not politically correct to say something positive about public construction projects.

The conventional wisdom is that anything done on the public purse is bad, poorly done, takes too long, plah, yuck, I hate it. Grrrr.

So, before I make a fool of myself and express positive happy thoughts, let me say that, yes, it does look like emergency vehicles will have a hard time negotiating the Old Island Highway between Rockland and Hilchey roads during “rush hour” (okay, rush quarter hour in Campbell River, maybe half).

Oh how incompetent. Fire them all! Grab the torches and pitchforks, let’s storm city hall!

How often fire trucks will have to negotiate that stretch of road during that one period of congestion, is hard for me to say. But risk management is all about negating the possibility and there doesn’t seem to be any way around this one, literally and figuratively.

However, as the finishing touches are put on the Old Island Highway upgrade, I can’t help but think, “Yeah, looks nice.” (I can just see newcomers saying ‘How come it’s called the Old Island Highway, looks pretty snazzy to me?’)

The project looks especially nice this week with the blue skies and snowcapped mainland mountains. The most noticeable addition recently has been the bus stops. The ones on the water side are set back from the road with a bus pull-out. The glassed bus shelters look ultra modern and I guess are supposed to not detract from the view, which was spectacular earlier this week. Landscaping is going in on the landward side and it’s all pretty darn nice.

I just wish the feds or the province would come through with the bucks to finish the upgrade all the way to Hidden Harbour. Then we fast track the Sea Walk right to the Maritime Heritage Centre. Once we do that, we will have done one of the single most effective things we could do to enhance this community.

When the province downloaded responsibility for the old Island Highway onto the city after building the Inland Island Highway, it should have provided funds to upgrade it to municipal standards.

Then we would have one of the nicest municipal amenities in the province.

Never mind cruise ship docks or convention centres, dollar for dollar, the highway upgrade – I actually consider it the Sea Walk upgrade – is the best infrastructure investment in town.

Oh, no, wait a minute…what I mean is…I hate it. It’s ugly. It costs too much. Don’t do anything to improve the city, it won’t work, it’ll get screwed up…don’t these people know who they’re working for. That’s our tax dollars, you know…don’t spend it on us. Salt it away in a vault and…and…

Aw, who needs that kind of talk? Don’t you just get tired of it? Can’t we just enjoy things for once?

Good job on the highway upgrade. Looks good.