Massive Repair Job Begins on Northern Roads
Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government is pouring resources into the Pine Pass and northeastern B.C. to deal with the widespread damaged caused by this week’s torrential rainfall which led to flooding in the pass as well as in Chetwynd and Dawson Creek.
Highway 97 is closed through the Pine Pass and Highway 29 is closed in both directions 13 kilometres south of the junction with Highway 97 at Chetwynd. Sewer lines in that community have been affected by an accumulation of sand and gravel in the system. Some streets, bridges and access roads in the Dawson Creek area were affected by flooding there and hundreds of people remain stranded until the process of making repairs can be completed.
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone says “our government is working around the clock to support local authorities and First Nations by organizing necessary resources to respond to the flooding emergency in Northern B.C.”
“The damage caused by this severe and unprecedented rainfall is extensive,” says Stone. He adds that maintenance contractor personnel and volunteers have been working day and night to ensure the safety of the public. “We’ve mobilized ministry engineers, construction experts and over 100 pieces of equipment from throughout the province, and we’ll begin to rebuild these roads as quickly as possible.”
At this time the ministry says there are approximately 100 known sites on provincial roads and highways impacting travel, mostly in the South Peace, and five significant sites on Highway 97 west of Chetywnd. This includes complete washouts, partial washouts and debris flows.
Stone says crews are working from both the north and south end of the closure and expect to have the highway from Pine Pass to Chetwynd open to single-lane alternating traffic by the end of next week.
Motorists are advised to check DriveBC for updated information on closures at: http://www.drivebc.ca/