To the Editor:
An open letter to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
I am writing to clear up some very confusing statements being made in regard to where our highways are located and how the maintenance system functions.
A few months back we had a rock slide on Hwy 3 9km west of Keremeos which closed the road for several days. Two lanes of the Hwy reopened after temporary safety measures were taken.
It is being reported that a final cleanup cannot take place until engineers provide their stamp of approval that the clean up area is safe for workers.
It is also being rumored that no engineer would ever give this approval because of the liabilities attached to doing so.
Pleaser help me understand how it is safe for vehicles to travel through this area yet unsafe for clean up work to be performed.
I have lived in this area for more than seventy years and have seen rock slides in that area on several occasions as well as many other locations Minister of Transportation & Infrastructureand never have I observed clean up being delayed for the logic described above.
Each year the fall rains seep into the rock faces above our highways and then the frost from cold weather freezes the collected water dislodging the rock and when the thaw arrives we have rock slides.
This is a natural process that is repeated every year with the level of moisture and frost determining the severity of the slides.
Yesterday a second slide occurred beside this one causing a second road closure and the road was reopened this morning.
Any area where a highway travels below rock faces is subject to this same condition which we have lived with since construction of these roads.
What has changed that now determines the process, who is liable in the event someone gets hurt in these areas where slides occur, and does the logic described mean that the highways in B.C. will all have to be moved away from mountain terrain?
It may be time for a re-think on what actually makes good sense in these regards, I don’t believe you need to be an engineer to understand that there is more politics than responsible action going on here.
Your response will be greatly appreciated.
Regards, Darryl R. Brewer