Crews complete work to divert Borland Creek back to its original flow bed near Pigeon Road in 150 Mile House on Tuesday, April 28. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Cariboo landscape is changing as freshet evolves: MOTI manager

As of Monday there are 35 road closures

There are now 157 flood-impacted road sites in the Cariboo Transportation District, stretching from Cache Creek to Quesnel, said the region’s ministry of transportation manager.

“As of yesterday we had 35 road closures,” Todd Hubner told the Tribune Tuesday.

Describing the situation as ‘dynamic,’ he noted it ebbs and flows from really good days where MOTI opens six roads and doesn’t have any closures and then the following day they open three and have six close in other areas.

The landscape is changing as freshet evolves, he noted.

“We’ve made what I would consider significant progress, particularly on the low elevation sites. When you look at the 150 Mile House subdivision we’ve got Huston re-established, Mission Road on the south side is re-established and we have Borland Creek back into its channel by the bridge on Pigeon Road.”

Even there, while they have made progress, Pigeon Road has not re-opened at the Borland Creek bridge yet, as there is still work that needs to be done.

The water levels are going down, compared to last week, and once that happens MOTI can do damage assessments before it re-opens some routes again.

“We are looking to make sure the pavement hasn’t been undercut and making sure our culverts are in good condition as well as our bridge structures.”

Many of the bridges have undergone a lot of stress in many instances at their foundations where water has been high and rushing.

They will be checking adjacent to the bridges and around them as well.

The mobilization has been a ‘real testament’ to Dawson Road Maintenance, Emcon Services Inc. and many local contractors, Hubner said, noting there are 100 pieces of equipment out there on the roads.

Support from MOTI is also going to agencies and municipalities, such as Williams Lake which is dealing with flooding, road washouts, erosion and damage to the sewer sytem.

“We’ve provided them with some rip-rap to aid their efforts there.”

Through Drive BC, the ministry is attempting to provide real-time messaging to the public because the road network is important to everybody, he added.

“Thankfully enough our numbered routes remained open. We have had a few challenges along the way, but we haven’t really had any significant closure of highways. It’s the side road network that has undergone a lot of stress.”

A priority remains to get access back to residents as quickly as possible, he said.

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