How would you change the Trans-Canada Highway?

Peter Bernacki
Peter Bernacki

If you could redesign the Trans-Canada Highway as it winds through the mountains what would you do?

Would you twin it? Bore a tunnel or two? Create more snow sheds? And if so, where? And what would you do about Three Valley Gap?

We need to hear from ordinary people, sure, but we really need to hear from heavy haulers and guys like that.

Most people have some notion of what’s wrong with the highway and on February 26 we’ll all have an opportunity to tell the province what we think about it.

If you want to remodel a house who do go to fir advice? This is just like that.

That’s next Tuesday and between 5 and 8 pm, provincial officials will be at the Community Centre to consult with members of the public about the state of the highway and ways to improve.

Oh, we’ve complained about it in the past. Sometimes it seems as though you can’t sit down for a coffee without hearing someone complain about potholes, insane drivers, speeding trucks, avalanches, or just plain scary conditions.

But this time we have a chance to say what we think to the people who are actually going to do something about it.

Sure, some people say they’ll believe it when they see it or they claim it’s just political BS.

But I think the province is serious. They’ve committed $650 million to — finally! — fix the Trans-Canada. And if they’re willing to listen to us I think we should get out there and tell them.

Most people know I’m a member of the BC Liberal Party but getting this done is not about politics. It’s about fixing the most important link we have with the rest of the province and the country.

Personally, I raise this issue with provincial cabinet ministers and even Premier Christy Clark every chance I get and they’re paying attention. Christy Clark drove up the highway to Golden when she was here last year and Mayor Dave Raven went up it with Transportation Minister Mary Polak when she was here a couple of weeks ago.

I think she’s got the picture and I know Christy Clark does, too.

People from Revelstoke like Mark McKee, the mayor and others have been lobbying Victoria to fix the highway for years and this latest development makes him very optimistic about the future.

“I think it’s very important that people come out and show the government they care about this issue,” Mark said. “The naysayers can say whatever they want but this is the first time the government has actually come up with concrete plans.

“When was the last time these planets have been aligned? With money? Actual plans?”

Mark’s right. The government has gotten some of the work done already. Drive up to Donald or the Kicking Horse Pass and you’ll know what I mean. They’ve done some great work already but a lot more still needs to be done.

I, for one, really enjoyed that great piece of engineering. We need to see more of that.

We can, together, make a difference and make this better, safer province to live in.

You can help by coming out to the public consultation on Tuesday, February 26, from 5 until 8 pm and telling them what you think.

Peter Bernacki is a local contractor and BC Liberal Party member