A new Bella Coola access road needed


There is a strong case for an alternate road for Bella Coola.


There is a strong case for an alternate road for Bella Coola.

Over the past three years, the only Bella Coola access road has suffered through two forest fires followed by a flood.

Now there is a planned road closure at the start of tourist season.

Certainly forest fires and floods are unpredictable events, but a planned road closure is something that could have been timed for off season.

This event is not only hurtful to the economy of the greater area but, as well, in some parts of the Coast/Chilcotin it amounts to economic devastation.

Tourism is often based on access and good word of mouth advertising.

Frustration and lack of adequate hygiene facilities while waiting to continue a trip can be the worst kind of advertising that people can take away from an area.

With these unplanned and planned road closures it further emphasizes the need for an alternate access route to the Central Coast.

Some 58 years ago the government accepted the Freedom Highway as built by the pioneer road builders of Bella Coola and its board of trade.

Earlier the prior government scoffed at the idea that the people of Bella Coola could actually build a road.

The government changed in that year and the new government was more helpful; however, their help was limited.

The rules had been set down by the prior government; these rules were that the Freedom Highway builders could not use any existing surveys.

Had the board of trade received help and assistance one such survey dated 1919/20 might have changed the whole dynamics of achieving the plateau and the distance from the foot of the Hill to Anahim Lake.

To achieve the plateau on the existing road one must climb 1,190 metres over 18.5 kilometers with switchbacks and grades up to 18 per cent. In contrast, the 1919/20 survey would allow the plateau to be achieved in 8.7 kilometers with 6 per cent grades, with an elevation difference of only 400 metres and no switchbacks.

Additionally the distance between the foot of the hill and Anahim Lake would be 17.5 kilometers shorter.


Doug Wilson

Williams Lake

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

Just Posted

Researchers in B.C. say earlier than usual return of bats or dead bats can indicate trouble, such as signs of white-nose syndrome. (Cathy Koot photo)
Public help is essential for monitoring for bat disease

Anyone finding a dead bat is asked to report it to the BC Community Bat Program

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

Mclean Silverton rides a rail in Boitanio Park - one of seven new features installed by the city this past week. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Snow park in Boitanio open for riding

If any users find that the park requires attention, please contact city hall at 250-392-2311

A snowfall warning has been issued for Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Black Press Media)
Snowfall warning issued for Cariboo region

Between 10 to 15 cm expected

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor (from left) Judy Gibbons and Rajneesh Khugsal, seen here in 2020, are all ready to help people file their taxes. (Patrick Davies photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake volunteers ready to offer community income tax program

Co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor said he has already received inquiries

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Most Read