VOP undertakes Gateway Road Feasibility Study 

By Cindy Filipenko

It’s time to examine a plan for a second route into Pemberton. That was the message David Allen, director of development services for the Village of Pemberton, had for mayor and council last week.

The issue of the need for a second access road from the highway into the village arose last year during discussions of the Benchlands development. Citizens at various public meetings expressed concern about potential traffic flow problems the development would create. This resulted in a proposed route appearing on the project’s master plan.

While the proposed future road access faces a number of challenges, including engineering for an additional rail crossing and access to Highway 99, Allen said he felt it was vital that the village determine the feasibility of a second road access now. He said failure to do so might result in losing the option or having it become prohibitively expensive. Allen said that while the need for a new road was not immediate, the planning process needed to be put in place.

“This might not be required for 10, 15 or 20 years,” said Allen at the March 7 council meeting.

He explained that a pending subdivision in the area necessitated looking into creating a road that would extend along Pemberton Creek from the south end of Prospect Street. He pointed out that The Benchland master plan, which included the proposed road, was only a concept draft study. He clarified that an engineering report was essential to establish both the possibility and practicality of actually building a road.

Councillor Jennie Helmer inquired as to the current zoning. Allen confirmed that affected land was a mixed-zoning area. He further explained that the area was subject to rezoning and that the VOP was currently considering two subdivision applications for the property.

The cost of the project, dubbed New Gateway Road Feasibility Study, based on a proposal from InterCAD Consulting Engineers, is estimated at $7,500. Allen suggested that 2006 Community Development Budget, a $40,000 fund that has yet to be tapped this year, could cover the cost of the report.

Mayor and council unanimously voted to accept Allen’s recommendation that the feasibility study be undertaken. It was also agreed that InterCAD undertake the project as described in the company’s Jan. 31 proposal.

InterCAD’s proposal includes a promise to have discussions with the Ministry of Transportation and CN Rail, two potentially challenging stakeholders.

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