I am writing in regards to comments made by Tom Masters (Not planning for Duncan bypass reveals lack of vision, Courier Oct. 28) in regards to a bypass highway for Duncan.
Tom is shooting from the hip without doing any research on the topic before voicing his opinions.
I wrote a letter to the Minister of Transportation in regards to building a viaduct in Duncan starting at Beverly Street, to be the Duncan bypass, as viaducts are used in the United States, and are popular.
This is the letter I received from the Minister of Transportation:
“With respect to your concerns about the TCH in the Duncan area, in 2005, the ministry partnered with the District of North Cowichan, the City of Duncan, Cowichan First Nations and the Cowichan Valley Regional District to review potential improvements through the greater Duncan area.
The Trans Canada Highway Management Plan is available on the ministry website.
The possibility of a Duncan bypass was explored as part of this study and it was determined that the high costs and impacts to businesses and property owners outweigh the forecasted travel benefits.
This would be similar for a viaduct option, as you propose.
Also, elevating the highway over Duncan would not get much support locally.
In order to improve the safety of this route for all road users, the ministry is working closely with the District of North Cowichan to reduce the number of uncontrolled left turns on and off the highway.
Also. where practical, we are requiring consolidated access for lands being developed adjacent to the highway, thereby reducing the number of driveways along the corridor.
We are also working to better coordinate traffic signal timing through Duncan with timing changing several times a day to better match traffic flow in Duncan’s downtown core at the intersections of Highway 1 and James and Coronation Streets and York and Trunk Roads. Pedestrian crossing times have been increased to better accommodate pedestrian traffic.
Should you have additional questions, about the TCH through Duncan, do not hesitate to contact the ministry’s local district engineer at 250-952-5562.”
The letter was dated January 14, 2013 and proves to this day that Duncan will never have a bypass like the one in Nanaimo.
As stated in the management study, the costs would outweigh the construction of a bypass.
I suggest that Tom Masters take time to read the management study and to concede that a bypass is only a dream that will never ever happen.