B.C. government, First Nations announce deal to upgrade deadly Bamfield Road

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The province of British Columbia and Vancouver Island First Nations have partnered to upgrade a dangerous industrial road that is the only land route to some small communities.

The unpaved 76-kilometre stretch of the Bamfield Road has been the subject of safety concerns for years, and was the site of a 2019 bus crash that killed two University of Victoria students.

Read more: Bus crash that killed two B.C. students was ‘unfortunate, one-off accident’: report

The road is the main access to the communities of Bamfield and Anacla, as well as the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre.

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B.C. premier pressured on Bamfield road – Sep 24, 2019

After the crash, the province formed a working group with the Huu-ay-aht First Nations and forestry companies in the area focused on improving the road.

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Over the next three years, the road will see upgrades including hard surfacing with a seal coat.

Read more: ‘It was horrific’: B.C. bus crash survivor launches petition to improve deadly road

The province will put up $25.7 million of the projected costs, while the Huu-ay-aht First Nations, who rely on the road for access to the territory, will provide $5 million.

The Huu-ay-aht will also manage the project with technical support from a consulting firm, and provide in-kind materials, such as gravel from pits on their lands.

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