Groundbreaking ceremony marks the beginning of the construction for replacement bridge in Rocky Pines.

The previous bridge was destroyed by flooding in 2017. After years of lobbying with the federal and provincial governments, the Lower Nicola Indian Band has contracted Ruskin Construction to build the bridge.

The bridge will run from Hummingbird Road and Yap Skim Drive across Guichon Creek towards Highway 97C, the bridge will provide the community a much needed access point. 

“This one was huge because this is our major community. People think, you drive through Shulus, the band office, the fire hall, the arena, it’s a small little village compared to here, we have a lot of people that live up here and we have a lot of people that don’t have transportation,” said Chief Jackson. “We attended an emergency management meeting for the province in Osoyoos last November and that’s where we had an opportunity to speak to the province, but also speak to the federal government to explain to them the concerns that we have, because of the lack of access for our community.”

Once built, the bridge will give band members easier access to hunting and gathering grounds. 

“There’s a lot of tea out there that a lot of our people like to pick, sage, things like that, for spiritual and ceremonial purposes as well,” said Chief Stuart Jackson. “It’s just another route for them that’s more convenient and I think in some ways, even probably more safe because you’re not having to battle Aberdeen Road and Highway 8 to get to something that’s just across the way.”

“We put the shovel in the ground today, construction starts next week, and they’re hoping that the project will be coming to fruition at the end of August of this summer, 2024,” said Chief Jackson.