BC’s new Transportation Minister won’t be stopping the plan for the Highway 97-Stickle Road intersection.
Claire Trevena was in Vernon over the weekend for meetings, and had a chance to check out the controversial site.
She tells Kiss FM, she supports the plan for no left turns at the intersection, and extending 20th Street to the frontage road.
“From what I’ve heard from ministry staff, it is a plan that is going to make that junction safer. I know there is concern but as I understand from the ministry, there is a mitigation there for the environment side of it too.”
Pictured: Claire Trevena, BC Transportation Minister
Trevena says the loss of the wetland will be compensated with other land elsewhere, working with Ducks Unlimited.
“It’s never going to be enough (but) if you’re going to be building, you are going to be impacting the environment. I think that happens where ever you are looking at doing any sort of road work. So I think we have to work as cautiously as possible, do as much mitigation as possible.”
While some opponents to the plan, like Green Party leader Andrew Weaver, have called for the minister to review it, Trevena sides with what the experts say would work best.
“From what I’ve seen it would be safer than what’s there now. I know there’s been a lot of debate about whether there should be a traffic light or anything else. I’m not the engineering expert, and what I’m told by engineers in the ministry is they’ve looked at all the options, and they don’t go into such major construction lightly,” adds Trevena.
Work has started to pre-load fill on the wetland site behind the RONA store on 20th Street, which could take up to two years to fully settle.