Ministry official updates status of region's roads

Ken Nash, district operations manager for the Peace region, said major repair work is still required at multiple sites on Highway 97 between Chetwynd and the Mackenzie Junction.

"We've identified over the course of the month here since the event approximately 60 sites where we are going to be doing repair work of varying degree," he said. "For the larger ones, we're doing geotechnical drilling to find out exactly what is required to repair them both temporarily and permanently."

"We have a current goal of having two lanes paved, in a temporary status, by this winter, with permanent repairs to come into the new year," he added.

One of the necessary detours along the highway has a restriction on low-clearance vehicles (less than 15 centimetres or six inches) and vehicles with widths greater than 3.8 metres. Nash said they hope to improve that detour within the next two weeks to allow for larger traffic.

Traffic is being piloted through work zones and there is single-lane traffic control at several sites, so motorists are advised to expect major delays. An alternate route from Prince George to the Peace region or vice versa is available via Highway 16 from Prince George to Hinton, Highway 40 north from Hinton to Grande Prairie, and north of Highways 43 and 2 from Grande Prairie to Dawson Creek.

On the Dangerous Goods Route through Dawson Creek near the 208 Road, a multi-plate culvert was washed out due to high water levels during the last flooding event, and two bridges were installed as a temporary fix, but Nash said they expect to have that replaced with a permanent structure this fall.

"We're in the process of doing some evaluation on what type of structure would be best suited to that location. As many probably have noticed, all around the Peace watercourses have changed significantly, and we want to make sure what we put back is able to accommodate any future flows."

Commercial vehicle weight restrictions are in effect over the bridges.

On Highway 52, about 26 kilometres south of Arras near the Brassey Creek, a wash out has reduced the road to single-lane, alternating traffic with up to 20 minute delays. Nash said they are looking at a similar problem as with the washout on the Dangerous Goods Route, and a permanent fix won't likely be completed until next year.

On Highway 29, both north and south of Chetwynd, motorists can expect temporary delays as crews work to repair and mitigate for erosion along some sections of the highway shoulders.

Ongoing upgrades to the Braden Road has been delayed slightly, though completion of phase two of the project – which involves paving the last remaining gravel section of the road – is still expected to be complete this year, said Nash. He said phase three – which involves rebuilding and resurfacing the southernmost section of the road where it connects with the John Hart Highway – will be starting on Monday, but won't be completed until next year.

For more information on the current status of roads in the Peace region, go online to www.drivebc.ca.

 

 

 

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