Mudslide closes Highway 6 west of Needles

Mild temperatures at this time of year have begun to wreak havoc on local roads.

  • Feb. 25, 2015 2:00 p.m.

Trisha Shanks

Arrow Lakes News

Mild temperatures at this time of year have begun to wreak havoc on local roads. The section of Highway 6 one kilometre from the Needles ferry landing was been closed after a mudslide on Feb. 18 effectively cutting the town of Edgewood off from services in Nakusp.

“We were hearing rumblings from some of the drivers starting yesterday — people said they were flying over it (the uneven section of the road) and getting air,” said Tasha Hall, who works just a few minutes from the site.

According to Hall, drivers can still get on the ferry in either direction. They are alternating single lane traffic on the logging road that parallels the highway, but even that could be a hazard.

“You can see the sloughing away along the logging road. The guys said they are hoping to keep the logging road open for now,” Hall said. She estimates about bout 10 crew members are on site assessing the damage and directing traffic.

“The damage is extensive, the water is running under the road. That much damage happened in the last 10 hours and the road is just broken.”

A crack had formed across the two-lane highway cutting it in two, and one of the sections had begun to sink. In addition, cracks of 200 feet in length were developing in each lane.

“We are changing the detour road tomorrow,” said Bart Chenuz, Area Manager for Roads with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure. They will be shortening the distance and straightening out corners so that commercial vehicles will be able to travel on it.

“The slough is moving below at three feet per day…need to wait till it settles/or falls into river. Water (is) coming out of the ground below the road forming a creek. Mother Nature is winning right now,” Chenuz said.

 

Five days later, traffic is still being diverted to the logging road for about a two-minute stretch and many drivers have reported it’s a little muddy but it’s an acceptable fix for the time being.

 

 

Arrow Lakes News