Lower Nicola Indian Band (LNIB) celebrates the opening ceremony for the new Rocky Pines Bridge.

After three months of construction, the Rocky Pines Bridge has finished construction, giving LNIB members increased access in and out of the community as well as access to traditional gathering grounds.

The opening ceremony was attended by the LNIB Chief and council, community members, the LNIB Fire Department, representatives of Ruskin Construction, and Indigenous Services Canada.

“I’m very proud and honoured that we were able to work with Indigenous Services Canada Ruskin Construction, they did a great job. They expedited the project, was way ahead of schedule, I really appreciated that LNIB members were also a part of the construction of the bridge,” said Chief Jackson.

“That bridge now puts a lot of our residents’ mind at ease, that if Guichon Creek were to flood again or if evacuation orders are enacted in the future, that there’s not just one vein out of the Rocky Pines area, we have two ways of getting our people into a safer environment if there’s an environment catastrophe that’s hovering over them,” said Chief Jackson.

“This is a big one,” Jackson said in a speech at the opening ceremony.

“We’ve also done some work up at the Pipseul area for access,” said Chief Jackson. “Some of the work that we want to do with our other reserves, up at (Hamilton Creek), we know that there’s work that needs to be done up there and that’s our focus; our focus is to make sure we’re balancing our service delivery to everyone.”

The LNIB hopes to increase access to reserves to create economic development opportunities. “Up at Hamilton Creek, access for our members to continue with their agriculture, their ranching, raising their cattle, and their horses” said Chief Jackson. “Knowing that they can actually put a tractor and a baler on a bridge to get them from point A to point B.”