Spray Lakes logging trucks don't belong on country roads with school buses, say Ghost-Waiparous residents

Residents west of Cochrane gathered to share safety concerns with their local MLA about Spray Lakes Sawmills logging trucks. The trucks are moving several loads every day down a narrow country road from the Ghost Lake area.

Residents say Spray Lakes logging trucks are breaking rules, threatening safety with Ghost Lake hauls

About 30 residents gathered to raise safety concerns about Spray Lakes Sawmills logging truck hauls from the Ghost Lake area west of Cochrane. The MLA for Banff-Cochrane, Cam Westhead of the NDP, says he understands why people are unhappy. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

Residents west of Cochrane say Spray Lakes logging trucks are sharing narrow country roads with school buses and threatening their safety as trees are harvested north of Ghost Lake. 

"I don't want someone to be killed or injured or anything before someone realizes, 'Gee, this is a bad idea. It's not good,'" said Patti Reyes, who lives along Jamieson Road.

She's one of about 30 residents who met with their MLA Thursday evening to call on the province to ensure rules are followed before there's an accident.

Logging trucks more than a lane wide

This week, Spray Lakes Sawmills started hauling logs out of harvesting areas north of Ghost Lake. Residents say they're appalled the trucks — more than a lane wide — are permitted to run down the narrow road used daily by local residents and school buses.

The guys with the trailers have a difficult time staying in their lane coming around the curves.- resident Steve Repic

"Each truck is different. Some of them are piggy-backed, they have them wrapped up on the hauling unit and other ones are pulling trailers," said Steve Repic, who lives in the area.

"The guys with the trailers have a difficult time staying in their lane coming around the curves just because of the length of the vehicle and the roads aren't made for that size of vehicle."

Cam Westhead, the NDP MLA for Banff-Cochrane, says he understands why people are unhappy.

"The community's done a really good job at coming together and identifying the concerns that they have," he said.

"They've made their concerns very clear to me and also the minister. We're working closely with the ministry and the community to make sure that those concerns are addressed," said Westhead.

Spray Lake Sawmills is allowed to take out 5,300 truckloads of logs in the next two years.


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