Aaron Hans and his grandson Xavier enjoying the new wide shoulder near 4Mile

Community members enjoying wider shoulders on busy highway

The summer paving project that resulted in the highway shoulders being widened from 4Mile to Bella Coola is being taken advantage of

The summer paving project that resulted in the highway shoulders being widened from 4Mile to Bella Coola is being taken advantage of by many residents.

All summer long the highway was busy as usual with walkers, bikers, and parents and grandparents pushing strollers. However, this time around people had a lot more room to move.

The project was the result of a true community effort. Letters were sent to Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone from across the Valley. Partners included the Bella Coola General Hospital, the Nuxalk Nation, RCMP, Active Communities Bella Coola, Bella Coola Valley Tourism, MLA Jennifer Rice, CCRD, Acwsalcta School and School District 49.

Everyone expressed their concern over the poor condition of the road and the narrow shoulders that left most people no choice but to ride or walk in the dirt if they wished to avoid being shoulder to shoulder with the traffic.

The new shoulder is considerably wider in many sections, up to 1.5 metres where possible. It’s a noticeable difference to many making the commute.

Aaron Hans was pushing his young grandson Xaiver last week during some sunshine. He said it’s great to have more room, especially when you have young kids to take care of.

There are hopes to expand the project into more areas of the Valley, as thoughts are it will increase local activity and add to tourism opportunities.