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B.C. government plans to replace West Fraser Road


West Fraser Road flood damage.

Flickr image courtesy B.C. government.

The government of British Columbia says funding is in place and plans are moving ahead to rebuild and realign West Fraser Road, which was heavily damaged in 2018 by flooding and needs to be replaced. With an estimated cost up to $103.4 million, the project has been approved in principle for support from Public Safety Canada’s Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangement.

High water levels from the spring freshet in April 2018 caused Narcosli Creek to erode five sections of the road on the west side of the Fraser River, some 17 km south of Quesnel, B.C. As a result of the severe damage (pictured), a 3-km section of the road was closed and a detour route was designated via the Garner and Webster Lake Road system.

With an investment of nearly $2 million to improve the detour route, local ministry staff and a maintenance contractor continue to ensure it remains safe and reliable in providing continued access to the ?Esdilagh First Nation community, ranches, homes, logging activities and farming lands.

“The washout has had significant impacts on people and local communities,” says Claire Trevena, the province’s minister of transportation and infrastructure. “The ministry continues to work on maintaining the alternative route and building a new road.”

Currently, the ministry is finalizing a detailed design for the new road, which will bypass the active slide areas that were washed out. The work will include the construction of 5 km of a two-lane road on a new alignment, a new bridge crossing the creek and rock stabilization along the new route.

Upon completion of the final engineering design, the ministry will hold a public information session in spring 2020 to share that design and the project timelines. At this point, construction is expected to begin in 2020 and finish by late 2022. More information is available here.