A proposed north-south commercial transportation corridor ran afoul of the RDCK board at its September meeting. File photo

UPDATED: A highway through the through Arrow Lakes corridor? RDCK board not impressed

Board votes unanimously not to support an economic study

The board of the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) has given a unanimous thumbs down to a proposal to study the construction of a commercial transportation corridor from Waneta at the U.S. border to Revelstoke through the Arrow Lakes.

“I say no,” said Slocan Valley director Walter Popoff at the board’s Sept. 19 meeting, “and a strong no.”

Directors were responding to recent communication to the Nakusp village council from Dan Ashman, a Trail businessman who is a longtime advocate of the project. It asked council to support a study that would evaluate the economic benefits of the highway project.

The email attempted to sell the council on the highway project study by stating that the RDCK had already voted unanimously to support it.

Joseph Hughes, who represents Nakusp on the RDCK board, said at the Sept. 19 meeting, “I found that to be an absolute misrepresentation of this board. We have had no motion. There was no vote.”

CAO Stuart Horn pointed out that at a 2011 board meeting there was a vote in favour of a study of the feasibility of a bridge over the Arrow Lakes, but nothing about a highway.

Directors Garry Jackman (East Shore), Paul Peterson (Arrow Lakes), and Leah Main (Silverton) spoke against supporting the study or the project.

Proponents of the highway proposal, which has been around for more than 20 years, cite the potential advantages of a trucking corridor for mining, forestry, power distribution, transportation and tourism sectors in B.C. and Washington State. Ultimately the proposal would see the highway extended to Prince Rupert and Alaska.

Such a project would have to be approved and supported by B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Ministry staff told the Star no one was available for an interview and sent this prepared statement:

“The ministry has received no recent communications regarding a potential north-south corridor connecting northern Washington state and the West Kootenay.

“However, we always welcome and encourage suggestions from any person or group that has ideas to improve our infrastructure and look for opportunities to grow B.C.’s economy.

“We are not actively considering this idea at this time.”

An earlier version of this story stated that the proponent of the highway project is the Lower Columbia Community Development Team Society. The society has supported the idea of funding a study of that project, but is not its proponent. Also, the earlier version stated that the Slocan Valley or the Arrow Lakes corridors were contemplated as possible routes for the highway, when in fact it is just the Arrow Lakes.

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

Just Posted

VIDEO: Not business as usual as Nelson slowly reopens

Local owners talk about the pandemic has changed how they operate

City of Nelson takes over farmers’ markets from EcoSociety

Markets start June 13 and will be run by the Nelson and District Youth Centre

School District announces Rick Hansen Foundation difference-maker award winners

Creston student Alexis Folk and Nelson teacher Chris Mieske recognized by the Rick Hansen Foundation

Nelson offers financing for homeowners to purchase electric bikes

Loan payments will be applied to hydro bills as part of the EcoSave home retrofit program

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read