Businesses cite need for overpass

City of Terrace says it has no money for another overpass over CN tracks

“I HAVE no PDFs, I have no PowerPoint, so all you get is a cranky Irishman.”

So began an impassioned plea to city council by local businessman Steve Smyth last night before he presented a petition asking the city to act fast and reopen the recently closed Frank St. level rail crossing.

At one point Smyth said he had forklift operators ready to move the current parking blocks.

“We can’t condone that kind of activity,” said councillor Bruce Bidgood in response.

One of just three possible passages over CN’s rail tracks which divide the city, the Frank St. closure June 11 is causing a congestion on the Sande Overpass as well as at the other level crossing at Kenney St.

Smyth said traffic has been backed up all the way to Keith on Kenney, and that transport vehicles have to swing into oncoming traffic to make a right turn there or else drive their trailer onto the sidewalk.

Transport Canada ordered CN to block vehicles from using the Frank St. crossing after two recent incidents in which transport trucks were nearly hit by trains.

Smyth was backed by 16 audience members – business and residential property owners from the West Keith neighbourhood in south Terrace – in presenting a petition to council hand-signed by 31 people from that area of town.

“We need your help to get traffic flowing freely through our business area and our residential area again. West Keith is proving to be the industrial and heavy commercial heart in the city. There is some significant investment finally after years of living and working in a dust bowl.”

Smyth cited the inconvenience to clients transporting goods over the remaining rail crossings, saying that long transport vehicles have been stuck for up to an hour at the three-way stop on the south side of the overpass, some of them taking back routes through residential areas to access the overpass from the other direction.

“You are absolutely right. We have a crisis,” councillor Marylin Davies, who was acting mayor in David Pernarowki’s absence, said immediately in response to Smyth’s address.

Chief administrative officer Heather Avison said the city had acted immediately when informed of the closure and has asked for a meeting with the provincial transportation minister.

Smyth said this move would certainly be a help to people who live on Braun, Keith, or Frank, but that an overpass would be a better solution to address the industrial traffic which will still have to take a detour.

Bidgood said that CN is unwilling to help pay for a new overpass, and that whatever federal money that might have existed in the past is no longer available.

“It’s just not possible for the city to make a new overpass,” Bidgood said, submitting that the city would have to implement a 40-fold increase in property and business tax to afford that.

Councillor Stacey Tyers reinforced the need for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to fix the problem.

“It’s their highway. They encroached on the crossing. And they need to fix it,” Tyers said.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Terrace conservation officers relocate Spirit bear

Bear roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years

Seabridge Gold starts drilling along proposed tunnel route north of Stewart

Twin tunnels will connect the KSM mine to its mill and tailings site

Mother grizzly bear with two cubs spotted on Gruchy’s Beach trail near Terrace

Conservation officers also warning public to stay away from Grizzlies on lower Kitimat River

Village of Gingolx upgrading trails, studying campground improvements

Initiative is one of 39 trail and recreation projects to receive provincial funding

Terrace first responders honour late colleague with large procession

Dozens of emergency vehicles drove through Terrace July 7

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Large rogue floating ‘island’ corralled by Lac la Hache residents

At least 60 feet wide, this large mass of plants is free-floating on the lake

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read