The battle to get improvements made to Highway 14 continues to heat up. Mary Griffin reports.
The Ministry of Transportation is looking into whether Highway 14 from Langford to Port Renfrew needs upgrades.
A report on the 103-kilometres of winding road is expected in the fall.
The portion of the road, starts in Langford, hugs the southwest coast of Vancouver Island north to Port Renfrew.
It passes by 17 Mile Pub, which is located inches from the edge of the highway.
Jeremy Wilson’s family owns the restaurant and live right across the road.
He and other Sooke business owners are working to lobby Premier John Horgan for road improvements.
“We’re standing in one of the areas that is probably the most on the radar. Over time we average about ten accidents with injuries or fatalities a year in this small section of road,” says Wilson.
The Ministry of Transportation?s study of the road is the first in more than 15 years.
But everyone agrees, including Langford Mayor Stew Young, it’s time to upgrade the road.
“The safety improvements on that highway are needed on that highway, like right now,? Young said. You can see all the problems we’ve had, just this year alone. You know, with the flooding, and the fire, and the accidents that do happen. And you’ll save lives in the long run.?
As an example, Young said two weeks ago, there was a small brush fire along Highway 14 in Metchosin. It took firefighters hours to get control of the blaze and motorists on the highway were stranded.
“When there is an accident there, it backs up,? Wilson said.
?And there is no other access for the Sooke residents to go. I think that’s a lot of the concerns that the people have, is public safety.
With a premier born and raised on Vancouver Island, Wilson is hoping that this road will finally get the attention it deserves.