Wilkinson Street is one of four roads in Quesnel set for emergency repairs. The roads were planned for repairs in future years, but a bad winter has caused them to degrade quickly. (City of Quesnel Photo)

Wilkinson Street is one of four roads in Quesnel set for emergency repairs. The roads were planned for repairs in future years, but a bad winter has caused them to degrade quickly. (City of Quesnel Photo)

CITY HALL: Quesnel’s mayor and council discuss local road conditions

Bob Simpson said ministry sending more resources to tackle road issues

Roads were a topic of discussion at city council Tuesday evening, May 4.

When discussing the state of roads in the area, Quesnel mayor Bob Simpson didn’t sound overly concerned.

“The condition of roads in the Cariboo, specifically the roads around Quesnel, has been in the news a fair bit, with a lot of alarmism, quite frankly,” Simpson said. “Most of those roads have workarounds, it’s not a situation… where an entire community gets trapped.”

Simpson said he received a phone call from the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Rob Fleming, updating him on provincial plans to improve regional Cariboo roads. He said the minister told him more resources are on the way, in the form of additional engineers and maintenance equipment.

“I think he’s on the right track, really taking a look at all of our roads around the area in a strategic lens,” Simpson said. “Not every road can be invested in, particularly with so many alternate routes.”

While Simpson was optimistic, some roads remain impassible in the region, with no alternative for residents with properties on the other side, such Kersley Dale Landing Road.

READ MORE: Kersley Dale Landing Road residents “in limbo” awaiting MOTI decision on road repairs

Other roads, like Quesnel Hydraulic, have workarounds (French Road) which have been panned by residents as not good enough.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Gravelle Ferry residents call for MOTI to fix Hydraulic Road

“Three cattle liners and a pilot car were tied up for 12 hours to do a job that previously could have been done in three hours with two cattle liners,” noted a letter to the editor published in March from residents living on the other side of the Quesnel-Hydraulic slide. “Since then, commercial livestock haulers have declined to haul anything over that route.”

LETTER: Minister responds to local MLA’s speech on roads

For local roads, council members approved spending $200,000 to repair four sections of road they are responsible for maintaining within the city.

Around 60 metres of Abbott Drive, a 60 metre section of Flamingo/Perry Street, 80 metres of Wilkinson Ave and 90 metres of Tingley Drive/Twan Ave will be repaired.

These roads were up for repair in future years, but city staff reported they should be repaired this year instead.

“It became apparent after the winter thaw that a number of our roads did not hold up as anticipated,” the report reads. “It has been a common theme throughout this area that the ground appears to be more saturated than normal which increases the freeze thaw cycle which can create havoc on our roadways.”

Quesnel director of operations Matt Thomas noted the four roads wouldn’t be completely rebuilt, but patched as needed.

“I think the due diligence on our part to have the reserves to be able to do these kinds of things is an earmark of good financial discipline on our part, and good financial planning on our part,” Simpson said.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for May 25, 2021.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


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