Saturday, October 3, 2015

Roads, Roads, Roads and more!

Our Favorite Topic:  The Hurley

Surfacing!!!  Super happy that FLNRO is planning to do some surfacing after Thanksgiving.  They will putting down additional materials from where the 2014 surfacing ended up towards the summit as budget will allow.    Budget is coming out of money saved this year on grading and snow clearing.

Overall the maintenance of the Hurley FSR this year has improved and has provided a more consistent road quality throughout.  Unfortunately the grade that was scheduled for Sept. 12 didn't happen however it will (and is) be done this week.  FLNRO is also aware of some specific areas where grading can be improved and look for those improvements next year.

Please call me (250)238-2248 or email at if you have any comments re the Hurley.

Our next favorite topic:  Road 40

I am very pleased to report that some improvements are being made to Road 40.

The "dry bridge" just past the nastiest corner on the road (on Antoine Bluffs) has been replaced with a 2 lane , longer bridge.  For those of you that have not seen the video, have a look.  Click the link:

In addition, Area Manager Brad Bushill was able to eek out some additional guard rail that continues right around that corner.  This is the same corner where the Community Health Nurse went over and unfortunately passed away.  

Asst. District Manager, Dan Palesch also advises me that there will be two large warning signs posted at either end of Rd. 40 basically telling travellers that this is a narrow, winding road and caution is necessary. We all believe this will serve as a daily reminder to regular travellers & inform visitor’s to the area so they are not surprised by the road.   There has been some vandalism (painting etc) to signs out here and I promised the MOTi folks that our community would "keep our eyes" on them and whoever might be doing this.

If you are travelling Rd.40 you will also notice improved ditching. MOTi has been working with IRL Operations to establish ditching practices that are more robust, sorely needed on this road.

Progress. I do believe the strong and focused public & political response this winter on the unfortunate deaths on Hwy 99 North have made an impact.

 Little Gun Lake (Lajoie Lake) Culvert

The culvert running between Little Gun Lake through to LaJoie Creek and then into Gun Lake has been a source of concern for years.  It plugs up, the fish have challenges going up and down.    Little Gun Lake has suffered high water levels with resulting environmental and property damage.  Residents have tried many times through the years to ensure an appopriate level of maintenance and attention is paid to cleaning and removing debris around the culvert.

Last week, at my invitation, Asst. District Manager of Highways Dan Palesch and Area Manager Brad Bushill came out for a walk about with local residents.

Dan committed to speak with the Operations Mgr. of Interior Roads and he in fact did and got back to us with the following:
                    IRL will ensure monitoring is increased to weekly inspections at the culvert inlet and outlet to ensure debris is removed as necessary
                    IRL is proposing to remove the existing beaver screen, and install a newer more efficient one. This will significantly decrease the amount of maintenance required, in addition to improving water flow and improved fish passage. *This will require Sec. 9 approvals through the environmental agency and would be subject to approval and installation during the applicable fish windows.
                    IRL will manage all Sec. 9 approvals, purchase and installation of new beaver stop.
                    We will investigate beaver removal at a later date, possibly next year, although it might be worth monitoring the new beaver screen to see how things evolve. This would also involve permitting and environmental approvals.
                    IRL will remove any surplus vegetation/debris in the area around culvert inlet as necessary. 

Gun Lake Ratepayers Assoc. and the Little Gun Lake Property Owners have this information and will, I am sure, mull it over and decide where to go from here.  The photo below, if you look closely has a rock with names etched in it and one of those names is now well below water line.  I am hoping that this increased attention will rectify the situation.

I will also be following up with Ministry of Environment regarding the condition of the spawning platforms in LaJoie Creek and the signage that is dilapidated and brushed in.

Bralorne Sewer funding application....still waiting....still hoping

We are still waiting to hear back about the Strategic Priorities funding application (gas tax) the SLRD submitted for the replacement of the Bralorne Sewer System.

The latest word was:  All SPF [gas tax] applications are currently under technical review and we anticipate decisions to be made by the end of calendar year.

This is a very critical piece of infrastructure urgently needed. 

It CAN be done!

For those of you that despair about the long term future of the Bridge River Valley.
For those of you that rail against "big government" and "big business" taking but not giving back in an area like this..

I encourage you, if you have 45 minutes, to watch this presentation to see how it IS possible to take matters into a community's hands and win!  AND I might add, watch to the end for some GREAT entertainment!  

This presentation was made at a conference I attended this past spring put on by the Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition.

As many of you know, I am a tireless (although sometimes discouraged) beleiver that the Bridge River Valley can be a sustainable community in the long term.  Stories like the Battle River Railways shows the way!!!