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HomeNewsMayor Says North Quesnel Residents Better Bypass Idea Is Too Costly And...

Mayor Says North Quesnel Residents Better Bypass Idea Is Too Costly And Untenable

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson says the route being proposed by a group of North Cariboo residents has been examined closely and has been ruled out by both the City and the Ministry of Transportation.

Simpson says he feels for the residents who will have their homes impacted, but he says the route they are proposing wouldn’t cross the two bridges coming into Quesnel or bring the highway down into Quesnel and along the railway track.

He also says the cost would make it untenable and unpalatable, and would basically lock Quesnel into another 40 years of developing and arguing about routes…

“If we were able to argue in a best-case scenario because the bridge across the Quesnel River and across the current railway tracks both need to be replaced. If we argued successfully that those two bridges would need to be replaced, a route would come off the Northstar Interchange and cross the Quesnel River at a different location requiring an additional bridge and an additional railway bridge, so four brand new bridges, plus a more complex route, you’re approaching a billion dollar project as opposed to what we believe will end up in the 400 million dollar range project.”

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Simpson says the route currently being proposed by the city also accomplishes more…

“The interconnector would see the replacement of the two existing bridges over the Quesnel River and the railway tracks, give us a route that takes all truck traffic off of our downtown core and all through traffic, and addresses a fundamental issue which is that the city of Quesnel would never inherit two more bridges that we cannot afford. So the route that we’re looking for with the interconnector addresses all of our needs, has full support from the business community, has full support from the vast majority of the citizens of Quesnel.”

Simpson says they continue to work with the Ministry to move that project forward…

“They intend to come back to the community in the fall with the beginnings of the design of the actual route itself, so there is a request for proposals out, an engineering firm will be retained, they will begin to do the work on the actual beginning of the design because the design will go to public consultation.”

Simpson says a geotech analysis has been done, and there are no significant out of scope geotech issues that would prevent this project from proceeding.

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