Residents of Lax Kw’alaams will soon have access to a paved road, a completely refurbished ferry and additional sailings to Prince Rupert.
Minister of Transportation Todd Stone announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Lax Kw’alaams leadership that will move forward the needed engineering work to pave Tuck Inlet Road, while the ministry will provide funding to refurbish the Spirit of Lax Kw’alaams in 2016/2017 and support five additional weekly trips between Aero Point and Tuck inlet beginning this summer with a $400,000 annual commitment.
“By ensuring safe and reliable access to the community, we’re supporting local traffic and helping encourage future economic development in the area, which will benefit the Lax Kw’alaams and all British Columbians,” said Stone, noting the ministry will work with the band about a future replacement for the current ferry.
News of the paving moving forward was welcomed by Lax Kw’alaams Mayor Garry Reece, who recounted some of the experiences residents have had driving to and from their homes.
“In 1997, Tuck Inlet Road was not more than an upgraded logging road from the community to Tuck Inlet. Our trucks and cars had to withstand the two-feet potholes and dusty road, which had a tremendous effect on what we could bring into the community such as food, building material and general supplies,” he said.
“Today we can celebrate the commitment that the Province of B.C. is making to all of us to have this most-critical transportation system upgraded and paved. This is a long-awaited dream.”