Tourists have been using the Marine Circle Route in ever-increasing numbers but the backroads connector to Port Renfrew and Sooke really needs repair.
Lake Cowichan town council will add its voice to those of its neighbouring communities to the south in a push to get the provincial Transportation Ministry to do something about the condition of the road.
“It’s in pretty bad condition right now,” said Mayor Ross Forrest. “There are potholes that can swallow your car.”
“Port Renfrew and Sooke have been writing to the minister. They’ve asked us to send a letter of support. We need some feedback from this table,” he said.
Coun. Tim McGonigle said, “This has been an adverse year. The weather has really played havoc with industrial roads. However, I’m certain it will not be a total re-do. It is still used as an industrial road and this takes a toll on this surface quicker. The thaw had a real impact this year, too.”
Coun. Lorna Vomacks asked if the town could include some of the statistics from the Lake Cowichan visitors’ information centre, which show a significant increase in tourism from that source since the road was paved with the sealcoating material left over from the Cowichan Valley Highway.
Forrest reminded councillors that it’s still early spring.
“They haven’t had time to get at it yet,” he said.
Lake Cowichan’s works superintendent Nagi Rizk agreed, saying, “It’s on their radar but they haven’t had a [weather] window to do it.”
McGonigle continued, “I can assure you it will not be done in one week. It’s a large job.”
And, Rizk said, “you can pave in the rain but you cannot patch in the rain.”
Council will send a letter supporting Sooke and Port Renfrew.