Ministry monitoring highways after recent rock slide

Highway 22A and Seven Mile Dam Road are open after an overnight rockslide temporarily closed both roadways on Friday.

Highway 22A and Seven Mile Dam Road are open after an overnight rockslide temporarily closed both roadways on Friday.

The highway to the U.S. border was opened at 11 a.m. on Friday after two large boulders were taken away in pieces. Seven Mile Dam Road was opened the next day, Saturday, by 4 p.m.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is looking at ways to prevent another road closure.  After the slide, the ministry sent out a geotechnical engineer to assess the site.

“Based on our site investigation and the low level of risk to the traveling public, we feel the best way to keep the public safe is to ensure we have a clean, deep ditch adjacent to Seven Mile Dam Road,” said Robert Adam, government communications and public relations for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Some areas, like Paulson, have nets and cables on the rock face to prevent slides, but Adam says that all sites are different. The nets may not be an option for the Lower Columbia region.

“Generally speaking, the ministry process to deal with roads passing through hazard areas is to assess the site for any immediate safety concerns, implement any site-specific improvements and/or repairs to restore the site, then post the site with the appropriate, permanent warning signage.”

Adam says it was a combination of warm and wet weather, with a bit of frost, that may have caused the rocks and boulders to lose their grip on the rock face.

“The rock fall was likely caused by a combination of the wet weather and the freeze/thaw cycles at the upper elevations,” he said. “The mild, wet weather is causing water to seep into any available joint or fracture within all exposed rock faces. The natural freeze/thaw cycle of the air temperatures, combined with frost moving up, out of the ground, is causing the water in the rock joints to expand and contract, which in turn, can make some rocks unstable.”

Seeing large rocks on the highway is something that is usually reserved for thawing season in the spring, Adam says it is not unusual to see a slide in the fall.

He says that drivers should take note of any signage warning of a potential rockslide area and drive according to the road conditions to avoid injuries and collisions.

Just Posted

Kootenay fires grow — more evacuation alerts

Syringa fire prompts evacuation alerts plus HWY 3 closure and U.S. fire crosses into B.C.

Evacuation alert for Syringa and Deer Park

The Syringa Creek Fire grew Saturday resulting in evacuation alerts.

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Good things come in threes

The Knudsgaard brothers of Rossland and other West Kootenay triplets

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Smoke scraps Nelson’s MS Bike Challenge

The annual fundraising event cancelled its cycling Saturday because of poor air quality

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

Most Read