Sugar Lake road closure upsets residents
A popular route near Cherryville has been shut down and that’s getting a rough ride from residents.
The Ministry of Forests recently decommissioned a 200-metre section of the Sugar Lake Campsite Road.
“There’s a lot of people upset about it because that road has been there for decades,” said Eugene Foisy, Regional District of North Okanagan director.
“A lot of locals use that road, park and then go swimming.”
The road is also an alternate access if the upper road is affected by fire, washout or fallen trees.
“There is a real concern from the community about this,” said Foisy.
The campsite road was built in the 1920s and was the main route in the area until an upper-level road was constructed in the 1980s for most traffic.
“It’s the only nice road out here along the lake,” said resident Hugh Walker.
It’s anticipated that the issue will be raised with Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee MLA.
“We’re trying to get to the bottom of this,” said Foisy.
The campsite road was initially closed because of it being damaged by high lake levels this year.
Recent work to decommission this stretch of road included digging a ditch and taking out a culvert.
The Ministry of Forests is defending its actions.
“The campsites and other recreational facilities served by this road are still accessible, although in some cases this would require driving a few more kilometres than has been the case in the past,” states ministry spokesman Brennan Clarke said in an e-mail.
“Ministry staff assessed the situation and decided that closing this short section of the road was a more cost-effective solution than the alternative, which would require spending an estimated $225,000 to install a retaining wall and rebuild this part of the road.”