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B.C. begins permanent repairs of flood-damaged highways


March 30, 2022
By Rock to Road Staff

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B.C. road repairB.C. is beginning to permanently repair roads damaged during flooding in November. (Image: Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is moving forward on permanent repairs to the Coquihalla (Highway 5), and portions of the Malahat section of Highway 1, marking another following the significant flooding event in November 2021.

For the Coquihalla, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to select contractors who qualified through the Highway Reinstatement Program request for qualifications (RFQ) process.

“Our crews worked hard to get the Coquihalla reopened after the severe flooding event and were able to do so in short order about a month after the storm. The pace of reconstruction to get the Coquihalla back open to traffic was impressive and beyond anything we could have imagined,” said Rob Fleming, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“We are excited to move forward on the permanent reconstruction of this key route. We will be making our infrastructure more resilient to climate change and future weather events, so it remains reliable, safe and efficient for people and as our key goods movement corridor for now and for years to come.”

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Contractors are invited to take part in the competitive selection process to design and construct permanent repairs needed at three sites, including:

  • Bottletop Bridges, 50 kilometres south of Merritt
  • Juliet Bridges, three kilometres south of Bottletop
  • Jessica Bridges, 48 kilometres south of Juliet

The work will return the Coquihalla in these areas to its previous four-lane capacity. The sites will be repaired to withstand future extreme weather events as part of the BC’s commitment to ensure infrastructure is equipped to endure the effects of climate change.

The RFP for the repair project closes in mid-April with the contract expected to be awarded in late April or early May. Construction is expected to begin in summer and be completed by the end of this year.

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The ministry will also be proceeding in the coming months with the repair of the Othello washout area 10 kilometres east of Hope. A tender package will be prepared and made available for contractors. The ministry is focused on permanent repair efforts on the Coquihalla sites as a top priority, as they have been operating with temporary repairs following November’s flooding.

The ministry is also working toward making permanent repairs to the other flood-damaged highways in B.C., including Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon and Highway 8 in the Nicola Valley.

 B.C. Highway 1

As well, permanent repair work will begin soon on the portions of the Malahat section of Highway 1 damaged during November’s flooding.

The project tender for the Highway 1 – Malahat Tunnel Hill Washout repair project has been posted to BC Bid. The work will include restoring about 50 metres of the northbound lane north of Finlayson Arm Road and repairing damage to existing drainage and slope stability. An 80-metre retaining wall will also be replaced to secure the slope against future extreme rain events.

This is the first of the province’s permanent repair projects following November’s historic storms to go to tender. All permanent repair projects will improve resilience to future extreme weather events, part of the province’s commitment to building back better to ensure B.C.’s infrastructure is better able to withstand the impacts of climate change.

Construction is expected to begin this spring.