Ghost road upsets Port trail plans

B.C.’s transportation ministry now says that wider Alder Avenue does not exist, not even on paper.

Alder Avenue is proving an easy street to lose.

Councillors in Port Clements voted Sept. 19 to have C&C Beachy Contracting start building two sections of a new community trail that will eventually connect Sunset Trail with the Community Park and Port Clements Museum.

But when it comes to the section planned for south of Alder Avenue, council hit a roadblock.

Planned but never finished, Alder Avenue would run east-west along the south end of Port Clements.

Village staff recently found provincial documents showing that in 1983, B.C.’s transportation ministry set aside an Alder Avenue right-of-way that is 100 feet wide three times wider than previously thought.

Councillors were encouraged by the news, since it would ‘push’ a new community trail farther from private property whose owners do not want it so close to their yards.

But B.C.’s transportation ministry now says that wider Alder Avenue does not exist, not even on paper.

“I’m confused,” said Kim Mushynsky, the village’s chief administrative officer, speaking at the Sept. 19 council meeting.

“I have two official documents that are signed, numbered, and registered that refer to Alder Avenue being gazetted on September 29, 1983.”

Until 1987, the province set aside Crown land for new roads by publishing a map and route description in the B.C. gazette.

But provincial staff told Mushynsky that because the gazette has a route description but no map of Alder Avenue, it wasn’t actually gazetted.

“This may not be the last we hear on the gazetting issue,” said Mushynsky, who councillors authorized to spend up to $1,000 to further investigate the problem.

At the same time, councillors decided that depending on what staff find out, the Alder Avenue section will be move either 58 or 93 feet further south of the existing survey pegs.