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HomeNewsMother Nature delaying road repairs in the Cariboo

Mother Nature delaying road repairs in the Cariboo

The District Manager with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says they are now up to 247 sites that have been damaged by spring flooding.

Todd Hubner says he says that number in unprecedented in his 20 years and he says a lot of them, including Quesnel-Hydraulic Road, are still too wet from all the rain to do any work on…

“It’s a very unstable slide mass and it’s not something that you can just address at roadside, you’ve got slides within slides and the mass is so wet it’s not something that you can conceivably bring in a load of equipment and start work on it, so because of that, we don’t have a prescription on what a fix would look like at this point in time.”

Hubner says they plan to make additional improvements to French Road that is acting as an alternate route right now…

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He says the movement that led to the road failure on Highway 97 north of Quesnel just north of the Cottonwood Bridge has now subsided so they are now looking to put a proper paved surface back on there.

Hubner says they continue to monitor a couple of other areas in the North Cariboo as well…

“Knickerbocker is one that we are monitoring quite closely on the Blackwater Road.   That one seems to be stable at the moment.   And the one out on Highway 26, what we call Robber’s Roost, that’s a historic slide that was quite active earlier in the spring.    We’re just continuing to put some final touches on that one where we’ve constructed a rock buttress between the Highway and Lightning Creek, and we’re putting in a lot of internal trench streams across the Highway trying to dewater that site.”

As for the Williams Lake area, Hubner says they hope to have an emergency bridge up by the end of the month on Knife Creek Road at kilometer 13.

He says they also plan to go back to some areas where they have temporary solutions…

“Some other locations we’ve got temporary bridges that we’ve installed, so now the teams needs to go back, look at the hydraulics, the soil types, and determine what an appropriate long term structure would be for that location.”

Hubner says there are a lot of smaller locations in the South Cariboo…

“We don’t have any significant crossings that have been compromised, just a lot of streams on back roads and what not.   Even there though we’re having to back even though we’ve restored access, and we’re doing this throughout the Cariboo, our engineers and our consultants are going back and looking at these sites.    Is the structure design appropriate for the potential next freshet ?  Do we have enough capacity in the emergency culverts or crossings that we’ve put in there to accommodate that and if the answer is yes, there is one box ticked.”

Hubner says they also have to look at the environmental component.

There are now 247 sites in the region, a number that Hubner says is unprecedented in his 20 years.

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