Cariboo MOTI, contractors continue repair of 218 flood-impacted sites

Dawson Road Maintenance crews continue to work on the Soda Creek Road at the 15 km in anticipation of opening the road this weekend. (Dawson Road Maintenance photo)
Dawson Road Maintenance crews at the 15 km mark of the Soda Creek Road. (Dawson Road maintenance photo)
Dawson Road Maintenance crews on Mountain House Road Wednesday where the road is now re-opened. (Dawson Road Maintenance photo)
Dawson Road Maintenance crews and subcontractors busy at Alexis Creek getting South Telford Road open again. (Dawson Road Maintenance photo)

Ministry personnel and contractors continue to grapple with 218 different road sites impacted by flooding in the Cariboo region.

“We still have a couple of emergency bridge structures we need to install on Cave Road just off the Horsefly Road and we are looking at a bridge structure perhaps at kilometre 13 of the Knife Creek Road,” said Todd Hubner, district manager for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Cariboo District Thursday.

Hubner said crews are striving to re-open the Soda Creek Road 15 kilometres northwest of Williams Lake which closed after the shoulder eroded on April 24.

Read more: Road report: Many side roads still under repair after epic spring freshet

However, the Soda Creek McAlister Road which washed out at the end of March remains closed.

Hubner said part of the slide material came down, taking down part of the road with it and while significant movement since then has not been observed, engineers are telling MOTI they need to wait for the Fraser River to peak.

They want to see if the water has any impact to all of that material that is deposited down by the river, he added.

“The term we use is a ‘buttress’ and basically it’s massive volume of natural material at the base of the slide. It’s basically holding back that slide in some regard so we need to see how that slide material is going to react to the Fraser coming up and down and if that buttress is going to stand the freshet this year.”

Preparing for Cariboo Mountain snowpack melt

When the snow begins to melt in higher elevations it will impact several rivers in the Cariboo transportation network.

The Horsefly, Cottonwood, Quesnel and Fraser Rivers will all be on the receiving end, Hubner said.

Crews are ensuring infrastructure near those river systems is strengthened with rip-rap to withstand high flows.

They also checking that the armouring in place at the Cottonwood River is sufficient.

Out on the Quesnel Hydraulic Road, where the Quesnel River parallels it, workers are doing some additional rip-rapping.

Another area of focus is at Lightning Creek which parallels Highway 26 coming out of Barkerville, where crews are doing additional rip-rapping and armouring.

Progress has been made on tackling the rapairs, but there is still a lot of work to be done and Hubner does not see that it will all be completed this year.

“You look at something like the Quesnel Hydraulic slide. It is still moving at this point of time at around kilometre 20 and until such time as the water levels go down and we can do a proper engineering assessment we cannot even determine what the next step would be there.”

Read more: MOTI ‘triaging’ more than 100 road washouts in Cariboo

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