Islanders will be driving on new asphalt between Miller Creek and Tlell by next September.
The Ministry of Transportation and Highways is definitely going ahead with the paving project and will start advertising the contract in a couple of weeks, district manager Don Ramsay said Tuesday.
The project will widen the highway to eight metres from the current 6.8 metres, said paving project manager Greg Ross, allowing a shoulder for walkers, bikers and roller bladers.
Six side roads – Lawnhill, Brandt, Bitterlich, Wiggins, Richardson, Andrews and a portion of Beitush – will also be paved, Mr. Ross said.
Some of the 50 or so islanders – mainly Tlell residents – who attended the meeting were surprised to hear the side road paving is going ahead, although they haven’t been consulted.
A rough survey of Richardson Road residents, conducted by the Tlell committee, showed divided opinion on the issue, with a slight majority in favour of paving.
Stephanie Gillis, Ministry of Highways area manager, said paving will reduce maintenance costs, which is the ministry’s main concern.
“This is the first time I’ve ever heard opposition to paving,” she said.
Mr. Ramsay said the ministry will consult further with Beitush Road residents over exactly what work will be done to that road, because he recognizes its sensitive location and scenic nature.
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