Staff with the City of Williams Lake have been working with Tolko Industries since late November last year to review the possibility of allowing 9 axle logging trucks on City roadways.
Director of Municipal Services Gary Muraca says at this point from an engineering perspective they are satisfied.
“We’ve checked the bridges; we’ve been on the bridge which is on Mackenzie Avenue out by the energy plant as well as we’ve done a dry-run with the trucks through town with no materials on it to see how it track around corners and how it has been with other lanes, etc and we’re satisfied that isn’t going to be an issue.”
Muraca adds they will want to get some engineering opinion on how and if it will damage road surfaces in the spring.
“We’re not so concerned right now with the frost in the ground, but in the spring they’re going to have to get us an engineering report if it will affect our roads. Then we can make that determination,” he says.
“We’re not so much concerned about Mackenzie, but more on the Dog Creek Road and on the Soda Creek Road that would go the mill, and plus it’s a wider bunk so it’s going to track from the curb to closer to the centre line which will make for a narrower lane for passing.”
Next steps to approve the use the trucks on city roadways include a discussion/decision on the social and economic impacts to the region and amendments to the existing bylaw which Council will be exploring Tuesday evening at a Committee of Whole meeting.
Muraca says he although he understands a 9 axle logging truck is in town it is carrying a reduced weight and not its’ maximum noting that 9 axle trucks are approved for use on provincial highways by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
An FPInnovations document from November 2015 calculates streets will be safer with fewer trucks traveling them, and that the 9-axle trucks will reduce the BC forest sector’s transportation costs by $34 million.