$30M in improvements coming for B.C. logging road where two students died

VICTORIA — Improvements are coming to a narrow logging road on Vancouver Island where members of the local First Nations as well as two university students have lost their lives.

Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser announced today that just over $30 million will be spent over three years to make Bamfield Road safer.

He says the province is contributing $25.7 million while the Huu-ay-aht First Nation will spend about $5 million on the project.

Sunday marks the first anniversary of a bus crash that killed two University of Victoria students and injured many others.

Forty-five students and two teaching assistants were headed to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre aboard a chartered bus that moved over for an approaching vehicle and rolled down an embankment.

Chief Coun. Robert Dennis Sr. says all those who’ve lost loved ones share a common grief.

“We share some heavy burdens and we share losses of loved ones and I’ll look forward to the day when I can meet the families of those students who were lost,” Dennis says.

The logging route is the only road link for residents in and around Bamfield, and also leads to the terminus of the popular West Coast Trail.

Dennis says in addition to improving health and safety on the road, the improvements will generate economic activity for the small coastal communities.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 11, 2020.

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