For quite some time the issue of a second CN overpass and safety has been floating around the town unresolved.
I am not sure if it is for the lack of vigor of all those involved to date or is it incompetence of which I am very concerned. Or is it lack of total united leadership?
It appears that community leadership, mayor and council, chamber of commerce, Canadian National Railways (whose freight westward is subsidized, I understand), First Nations and other interested groups have failed to seriously and responsibly to address the issue of safety with the federal department of transportation, the provincial highways ministry and the Prince Rupert Port Corporation because the issue has become a serious safety factor.
The federal port at Prince Rupert is growing more and more. The recent announcement of the installation of the AltaGas propane gas facility means there will be greatly increased safety hazards due to the lack of the second overpass.
And that’s because of the increase to come in the amount of propane rail tanker traffic once the export terminal is operational – perhaps hundreds of cars in a 24-hour period.
Propane is very dangerous and this should be a wake up call to local and provincial leadership.
Or are those in charge waiting and waiting for tragedy to happen just like the tragedies that happened prior to the first overpass.
Economic growth in B.C., particularly in our region, is not a daily event, so let us address the reality of this safety issue seriously and responsibly and not with the usual useless politics.
The safety of the community and its citizens must be a priority by building a second overpass at Skeena Street and Highway 16 West without further delay.
And especially before propane tankers start rolling westwards to Ridley Island and a catastrophe in waiting becomes sobering reality.
I’d like to stress again to the provincial and local authorities and CNR, provincial transportation ministry and to Transport Canada to address this serious safety issue responsibly and timely to prevent possible looming disaster.
Oh, yes. And we need the Prime Minister to offer solid base financing from his infrastructure money which is really ours anyway.