Over the years, I have participated in many emergency management exercises as a means of preparing for mock disasters in an urban setting.
A key component in the planning is the identification of evacuation routes and access routes for emergency services. Of particular importance is the need to remove endangered civilians and the injured from harm’s way. For example, this could occur following an earthquake, flooding or a hazardous material spill.
At the present time, the Ladner community, with a population near 25,000 and growing, has for all practical purposes, only one viable access into and out of the community; Ladner Trunk Road. This four-lane road is congested during peak periods and would be completely overwhelmed during a mass evacuation.
The inadequate accessibility for Ladner could be addressed as part of the Massey Tunnel rebuild.
The initial planning provided for an extension of River Road over Highway 99 for a new outlet to the east.
We are now dismayed that this connection has been removed from the current tunnel plans.
We would argue that emergency response needs are a priority and the River Road overpass must be restored.
The long-term safety of the Ladner community should be of paramount importance.