There would be a significant cost to designate Bailey Street as public crossing and it’s unlikely District would apply to Transport Canada for such an approval, though the District has kept this option open for future.
Responding to a local resident, District officials said any future public use of Bailey Street would require designing the crossings with CN Railways, which would require an application to Transport Canada for approval.
“There would be significant costs to meet Transport Canada standards,” District says. “This is estimated to be several hundred thousand dollars for basic crossings. The costs escalate substantially if items such as automatic barriers are needed. The District does not consider this a cost-effective solution in the short-term since emergency access is maintained, but this could be considered in the future.”
Last year, the District installed gates on the gravel section of Bailey Street and closed the road except for emergency purposes. Bailey Street was closed to fulfill a long-standing agreement with CN Railways dating back to 1979 that allowed the District to use Bailey Street as an emergency access route.
The agreement required that the two rail crossings be gated to allow for emergency traffic only. The condition to gate the railway crossings had not been met since the original agreement was signed. Due to noticeable deterioration of the rail crossings from increased public use, the gates were required by the historical agreement, District says.
In the event of an emergency, the gates can be opened. All emergency service responders have keys to be able to use the road as needed.
The District says it recognizes the community’s concern about a second access to the downtown area, and it’s working with BC Ministry of Transportation. A second access is planned from the new Clarke Drive intersection off Highway 99, which will extend along Laurelwood Road to a Pemberton Avenue bridge.