Engineering design work to increase capacity of B.C.’s Cathedral Grove
British Columbia’s ministry of transportation and infrastructure is moving forward with detailed engineering efforts to improve safety and capacity for visitors at Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park, while protecting the environmental, social and cultural values associated with the site. The park has become a local, national and international attraction, drawing roughly 500,000 visitors per year.
The options being explored originated through feedback received during two rounds of online and face-to-face consultations. The ministry will now combine this feedback with input from Indigenous communities and local governments as it moves into the next phase, which will includes engineering design work to refine the project’s scope and costs.
Specifically, the ministry will explore options to:
- add capacity to the existing parking lots on Highway 4.
- add centre median and roadside barriers in some existing parking areas to prevent unsafe vehicle movements along and across the highway.
- construct a pedestrian overpass near the parking lot to create a safe crossing over Highway 4.
- expand the trail network to allow visitors to walk safely from their vehicles to the grove.
- construct U-turn facilities east and west of Cathedral Grove to enable drivers to safely turn around after visiting the park.
One of the most frequent comments during the engagement period was about the need to balance pedestrian and vehicle safety with the protection of rare old-growth trees. This balance will be considered as engineering work gets underway. No old-growth trees will be removed to accommodate the proposed improvements.
The ministry will present details of the preferred options once the engineering work is completed. In the meantime, a complete engagement summary report is available online here.