Local BC Liberal confident about government’s ability to twin the TCH

By David F. Rooney

The provincial government’s dedication to improving the Trans-Canada Highway is proof the BC Liberals live up to their promises, says Peter Bernacki, vice-president of the party’s constituency association.

“Mary Polak (BC’s transportation minister) gave us the straight goods when she was here,” he told The Current. “You take a look at the Public Consultations they’ve scheduled and the discussion guide — those aren’t empty words. They’re serious about this.”

Polak was in Revelstoke last Tuesday to discuss the newly announced Public Consultations intended to help set the stage for new improvements to the highway.

Her visit here not only attracted local residents but people from Nakusp, as well. Polak spoke at length about the issues surrounding TCH Improvements and made a point of speaking personally with everyone who wanted to meet her.

“She’s very interested in what people have to say,” Bernacki said.

So, too, is BC Liberal candidate Doug Clovechok. For months now he has been coming to Revelstoke to meet residents, hear what they have to say and raise his profile before the  provincial election is called.

“This will be a challenging piece of engineering but it has to be done,” he said.

The public consultation phase of the long-awaited twinning project is scheduled to begin in Kamloops on February 12, with consultations in Chase on February 13, Salmon Arm on February 20, Sicamous on February 21, Revelstoke on February 26 and Golden on February 27.

The Revelstoke consultations will be held at the Community Centre from 5 until 8 pm.

Over the next 10 years, the government has committed $650 million for the future widening of the TCH to four lanes, to add to the provincial investment and to further improve the corridor. Victoria will also be seeking contributions from the federal government, which Polak is confident that Ottawa will provide.

The province’s “discussion guide” describes the next seven projects it is planning. These projects make up $140 million of the $650 million investment.

Among the projects in the Revelstoke area are completion of the Clanwilliam overhead this year and a start to construction of a new bridge and four-laning of the highway at Malakwa.