POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

  • Sep. 18, 2019 8:30 a.m.

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound for Bamfield has renewed debate on the safety of the gravel logging road in the remote Vancouver Island location.

The bus, carrying 48 people including the driver, rolled Friday night around the 36-kilometre marker near the Carmanah Main Junction en route to the Marine Sciences Centre at Bamfield.

READ MORE: Two killed after bus crashes taking university students to Bamfield

Three people were airlifted to Victoria General Hospital – two in critical condition, one in serious condition. The remaining victims were taken to a reception centre at Echo Centre, set up by the City of Port Alberni, to be bused back to Victoria.

Huu-ay-aht First Nations Chief Councillor Robert Dennis Sr. was at the scene on Friday night.

“When we got there, we saw lots of lights flashing,” said Dennis. The lights belonged to the cellphones of dozens of students, who had already made it to the roadside and were helping others up with rope. Dennis and his wife stopped to assist.

Dennis says he travels the road between Port Alberni and Bamfield three or four times a week. Although the road is maintained based on logging operations, Dennis said maintenance does not take regular commuters into account. It had been graded only a couple of days earlier, but was already starting to develop large potholes due to the heavy rain earlier in the week, he said.

“I would say 90 per cent of the road is in decent to poor condition,” he added. “Maintenance does not seem to be an operational priority. We sometimes have to make phone calls. It’s not maintained with public safety in mind, in my view.”

Huu-ay-aht First Nations has been actively trying to work with all levels of governments to address the safety challenges of the road for years. Dennis said that he has been discussing the road since he was first elected to his position, almost 21 years ago.

Do you think the province should step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield? Take our poll and let your opinion be known.


Just Posted

First woman appointed rector at Esquimalt Anglican church since 1866 consecration

Gail Rodger is the 32nd rector at St. Peter and St. Paul Anglican parish

Environment Canada issues gale warnings for most of Vancouver Island

Gale warnings in effect for most of Vancouver Island and west coast Mainland

Trudeau to stop in Victoria on eve of election day

Liberal leader to make remarks at Bard and Banker

Women in Business: Kost a rising star in hospitality industry

Black Press Media celebrates women making a difference

WorkBC Westshore hosts free ‘lunch and learn’ workshop for small businesses

The event takes place on Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

VIDEO: Explosion, fire sends woman running from Saanich home

Heavy smoke in the area, crews on scene

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

ELECTION 2019: Federal leaders hit final 24 hours of campaign

Many leaders remain in B.C. for the final hours of the campaign

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Most Read