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.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney company tastes sweet success with sugar kelp

Cascadia Seaweed is experiencing rapid growth after launching six months ago

Westin Bear Mountain invests $2 million to renovate newly-named spa

‘Amatista Spa’ has yet to announce official opening date

North Saanich floats tougher policies for buoys and moorings near Tsehum Harbour

Municipality also considers additional collaboration with Sidney and other communities

HarbourCats team up with Bastion Books to bring back Harvey’s Reading Club

HarbourCats and Bastions Books offer students free game tickets in an effort to promote child literacy

Central Saanich newspaper carrier gets letter of thanks, chocolates from her community for note

Ava Verscheure started her first very job by introducing herself to residents along newspaper route

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read