A landslide on Highway 16 East is causing traffic delays.
On April 21, a landslide occurred between Cluculz Lake and Bednesti, east of Vanderhoof in northern B.C. reducing the highway to single-lane alternating traffic.
According to Drive BC the landslide occurred between East Bay Road and Lloyd Drive on Highway 16 West for 2.8 km. Geotechnical investigation is underway.
In an April 23 update, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said the slide occurred due to water flowing from the adjacent bank and pooling under the road.
The water has been redirected and repair work is currently underway. Traffic is being shifted in order to safely access the undercut location, stated the April 23 news release.
There is no information available around when the road may resume normal two-vehicle traffic. Ministry geotechnical engineers, operation staff and maintenance crews are stabilizing and repairing the site.
Vanderhoof Coun. Ken Young said in a social media about the landslide April 21,“Major issue on the hill just west of Bednesti. Called this in as the highway has been compromised significantly. Be careful in that area. We left when RCMP and others arrived on-scene.”
Local MLA John Rustad told Lakes District News that he had been working to resolve the issue and the incident was very unfortunate.
“In 2018 we had a passing lane planned, all the work was done and the project was approved but with the switch in government they cancelled the project. That is really unfortunate because with this current situation, it is going to be single-lane traffic for a month or two,” he said.
Rustad said that in 2016-17 all the engineering work was done, the design was done to actually move forward with the project. This, he said, was one of the five passing lanes that were supposed to be put in on Highway 16.
“They are still on the books for long-term planning but there is no indication of when it would get done,” he added.
“My push now is that if we are anyway going to be doing work on this, why don’t we just take the project that was previously approved for the 2018 season and do the passing lane now and avoid the safety issue once and for all. It is a big project, it is shovel-ready and now that we have got this landslide so let’s just get the whole thing done,” he said.
Rustad said that he is now pushing for the Ministry of Transportation to bring forward the passing lane project as with the bottleneck for such a critical portion of the Highway 16 going through single-lane for months would certainly be difficult.
For current road conditions, visit drivebc.ca
– with files from Aman Parhar