By David F. Rooney
More than 60 people attended the Trans-Canada Highway Public Consultations at the Community Centre in Revelstoke on Tuesday evening. People gave Ministry of Transportation officials their take on twinning the highway and Three Valley Gap came up as a very high priority for many local residents.
Unfortunately, there are no plans for fixing that part of the TCH for a few years yet.
Needless to say, George Bell — owner of the Three Valley Gap Resort — is concerned about that. That portion of highway between the lake and the mountain face is a bottleneck. Anything from a small avalanche to an accident can tie up traffic for hours. And the highway’s designers have to take that into consideration when they finally get around to designing changes for that short stretch of the TCH.
“We’ve heard proposals for everything from cantilevers to tunnels,” said Rick Blixrud, assistant regional director for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Southern Interior Region.
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.
But there are currently no plans or designs for dealing with Three Valley Gap. And while the province is talking with the federal government about cost-sharing on those stretches of the highway that soon to be upgraded, there is no word from Parks Canada about what it may or may not do about those portions of the highway that run through Glacier and Mount Revelstoke National Parks.
The province’s “discussion guide” describes the next seven projects it is planning. These projects make up $140 million of the $650 million investment.