The Highway 3 mayors coalition met in Castlegar in February.
“We’re looking for an economic assessment on Highway 3,” Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff.
He noted that travellers often take the less-scenic Highway 1 when driving through B.C., but if people took Highway 3 instead, it would have a positive impact on both trade and the economy in communities along Highway 3.
But he said that will only happen if the route is improved and travellers are able to make it to their destinations more quickly and safely.
“We see this as a long-term plan but it is a plan and we need to start somewhere,” he said. “If they see an improvement on the rural conditions, people will start using the route more because of the benefits on the road.”
Chernoff said last week’s meeting was a follow-up to a meeting held with then-Premier Gordon Campbell at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference in September.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is currently drafting recommendations that the coalition will go through to see what needs to be done.
Chernoff said he expects to receive the final document this September.
The plans are expected to span approximately 20 years, he said.
“The idea is to move commercial traffic and the tourists. We think we have something that people are missing because they’re taking Highway 1.”