It is a great pleasure to announce that there is a brand new DriveBC webcam on Highway 18 at Hill 60, replacing the old webcam operated by Mainroad contracting, that was removed from that site at the end of 2013.
Many drivers complained loudly to me when the often unreliable Hill 60 webcam was removed last year, and moved to the Pacific Marine Circle Route turnoff in Mesachie Lake. I too was surprised and disappointed when stories appeared in the local papers. I immediately notified my contacts in the MLA’s office, and managers with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI), to ask why the equipment was removed and what was needed to get the old equipment replaced with new.
To make a somewhat long story shorter, MoTI explained the old equipment belonged to Mainroad Contracting and they felt it would be more useful to them at the new site in Mesachie Lake. I countered with the arguments so many of you shared with me, and explained that Cowichan Lake area drivers wouldn’t be satisfied with any less than new equipment and added lighting at the Hill 60 site.
Many of you may have heard or read stories earlier this spring when I announced that MoTI and DriveBC would be providing new, digital, solar powered equipment at Hill 60 and it would be in operation for this fall and winter’s viewing. New lighting was ruled out at this time due to technical and cost issues, yet will be considered at a future date.
I am pleased to report that on Wednesday, June 11th, I received an email from MoTI contacts informing me they had “flipped the switch” on the Hill 60 DriveBC webcam, and that it was broadcasting high quality pictures to the DriveBC website.
It is very gratifying to me to have achieved a sensible solution to an issue without us having to organise petitions or hire lawyers to fight our own government. Thank you to all who took the time to contact me with concerns about driving safety, when the original webcam was removed from service. Thank you to our MLA Bill Routley’s staff, and MoTI managers for working together with me, to achieve a common sense solution for Cowichan Valley drivers that use Highway 18 during the winter driving season.