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

Oak Bay win first Bridgman Cup since 1973

Annual UVic event is an indicator for coming South Island finals, Island finals and provincials

For Central Saanich couple, fight against MS is a matter of family

Altenkirks sell greeting cards and wooden bowls to raise money for MS Society

Victoria feels the pinch at the pump as gas prices jump 18 cents

Gas up to 157.9 cents per litre at some stations

Man swinging election sign threatens to kill woman in Oak Bay

Police detain aggravated man without use of taser

‘Panda’ Goodlife runner searches for his head

Facebook post for help leads to ‘unconfirmed panda head sightings’

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

VIDEO: Bear spies on cyclists riding by on Campbell River street

Riders seem unaware the bruin is mere feet away on the side of the road

Two Cowichan Tribes families devastated by duplex fire

Carla Sylvester sat in her vehicle, on Tuesday morning, with tears in… Continue reading

Most Read