B.C.’s minister of transportation Rob Fleming toured the Cariboo recently to see areas impacted by freshet and flood damage that will be ‘very expensive’ to repair.
“It will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars potentially based on the options we see as we are getting some more costing done,” Fleming told Black Press Media.
“We are working and have active applications in with the federal government for disaster financial assistance to rebuild infrastructure there.”
He said the province will make the case that unusual weather events have caused extreme impacts on people’s lives and road infrastructure needs to be reopened.
“We need to adapt our infrastructure investments for climate change, so building to higher engineering standards so the infrastructure is more resilient and that we are not rebuilding the same sections of road.”
He said he was amazed to see how much work has been done in the region this summer by contractors and ministry staff.
A spokesperson for the ministry confirmed more than $60 million will be invested in Cariboo slides and washout engineering and repairs in 2021. Thirty million was invested in 2020.
To date 382 of the 431 sites impacted by the freshet in 2020 and 2021 have been repaired, while the “remainder of the works are either substantially complete and awaiting final resurfacing or in engineering due to their complexity.”
In September the ministry confirmed a $3.3 million contract had been awarded to Okanagan Aggregates Ltd. for paving sections of Highway 20 east of Nimpo Lake.
On Aug. 26, the ministry launched a new website to inform the public about progress on 10 major sites that are part of its Cariboo road recovery planning.