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Highway access decision pending

MoTI needs to make the right call and avoid Henry Road being extended
The Morgan Maples development will be situated right next to Country Maples, suggesting highway access would be better served there. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Hopefully, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will see the light.

Henry Road west residents have been opposed to the Morgan Maples modular home development on the Trans-Canada Highway from the start, but it’s going ahead. What’s not completely decided yet is the highway access point for the development.

Henry Road west residents will be a lot less opposed – in fact, most will be elated – if MoTI reverses its earlier decision and agrees with the majority that the development would be better served by connecting to the highway with its neighbours at the Country Maples R.V. Resort.

The developer doesn’t have a problem with going in that direction. Neither do the nearby residents and North Cowichan joined the fray again by authorizing Mayor Rob Douglas to send a letter to MoTI, requesting it to authorize use of the Trans-Canada Highway as the only access to the site and eliminating the need to extend Henry Road.

If MoTi reconsiders, North Cowichan staff will be directed to work with the permit holder to request a revision to the development permit.

There’s a lot to this story and we don’t need to get into all that again. The bottom line is a common sense solution must be made now to avoid ramifications in the long run.

Building a right-of-way from the development over a sensitive ecosystem to connect to Henry Road doesn’t make any sense. And then there’s the long and winding narrow route that will have to be followed for drivers going from the development back to the Henry Road and Trans-Canada Highway intersection.

The municipality’s own consulting group made several inconsistent observations about the narrow roadway that doesn’t have a shoulder for cyclists and walkers and, presumably, there would be a lot more of them coming from the new development as well.

That leaves the existing merge lane from Country Maples onto the highway. It’s closer to Morgan Maples and it’s a long merge lane so there’s lots of time for traffic to flow onto the highway.

It’s not a perfect solution, either, but better than the alternative. In either case, residents of the new development will be doing a lot of back-tracking to get to where they’re going, but it’s a moot point in the big picture.


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Land clearing is being done for the new modular home development on the Trans Canada Highway. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Don Bodger

About the Author: Don Bodger

I've been a part of the newspaper industry since 1980 when I began on a part-time basis covering sports for the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle.
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