Access into KBRH has changed since construction of a two-story addition started last year. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Trail confirms second road to regional hospital ‘on hold’

Announcement follows the city’s recent wrap-up of a comprehensive engineering evaluation

A second road to the hospital in Trail won’t be happening in the foreseeable future, but the city says it still has ambition to get the job done.

“Although the city has put the second access road to Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) on hold, the project has not been abandoned,” the municipality confirmed Friday afternoon.

“The city intends to continue the engaging and meaningful dialogue with Interior Health and the province regarding how best to advance the project, should conditions change or if third-party funding can be secured,” the statement reads.

“The development of the road could be triggered by the eventual relocation of the current BCAS (BC Ambulance Service) station as the city previously advanced a proposal to the province to relocate the station to city-owned property on Rossland Avenue. The city will continue to pursue this issue directly.”

This announcement followed the city’s recent wrap-up of a comprehensive engineering evaluation pertaining to the construction of a second access road to the KBRH, which included input from Interior Health (IH).

Trail council provided funding from the 2019 Capital Plan to complete this evaluation, as the elected leaders had identified the review and potential development of a second access road as a strategic priority. After assessing the associated costs, options, and impacts provided in the engineering review, it was agreed there wasn’t a preferred option that the city and IH could directly support at this time.

TRUE Engineering, an engineering and planning consulting firm, was hired to oversee design, budget development, and the planning process for a number of potential KBRH second access road options over several months last year.

IH staff was given the opportunity to provide comments in response to the options that were developed.

Four full-access options, ranging in construction costs between $6.3 million and $9 million, were then advanced for further discussion. Costs varied depending on where the road would start and enter the KBRH property.

To view options click here: Summary

Due to the significant costs to construct the road to municipal standards, an additional option was developed that included constructing a one-lane emergency access road to the property.

Estimated at roughly $2.35 million, this one-lane road would be more economical to construct; however, the results of the KBRH Road Access Natural Hazard Review, conducted by SNT Geotechnical Ltd., mitigates the immediate need for a multi-million dollar expenditure.

To view road access document click here: KBRH road access

Construction costs, as well as integration onto IH property, were all critical issues considered in the assessment.

Also, the elevation gain over a rather short distance was a complicating factor; and, the location of the BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) station and Harbour House at the north end of the property also impacted options and cost.

IH’s input was critical to the process and the city says it did not want to advance a preferred design to the public for review and comment that did not meet the needs of all stakeholders involved.

Further, when considering Trail’s current capital priorities and the cost of the road, council felt it would be difficult to garner the public’s support if long-term borrowing was the preferred funding source.

The city also intends to discuss the matter further with the regional hospital board to gauge whether or not the board would support the provision of all or part of the costs required to proceed, recognizing that KBRH provides service to the larger West Kootenay region.

In conclusion, the municipality says its support for KBRH is unwavering.

While the second access road will not proceed immediately, the city will remain engaged with the hopes of supporting further enhancements that directly support the regional hospital.



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

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