Just a day before a boulder the size of a car landed in the middle of the Trans-Canada Highway at Three Valley Gap bringing traffic to a standstill, Mayor Mark McKee and Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok met with the Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation Claire Trevena to discuss Highway 1.
In a social media post on April 17 Clovechok said the goal of the meeting was to push the ministry on the serious dangers around Three Valley Gap and the Kicking Horse Canyon.
— BC Transportation (@TranBC) April 18, 2018
Speaking to the Review on April 19, Clovechok said little progress was made during the meeting to find a long term solution to the ongoing problems at Three Valley Gap.
“Absolutely no progress was made in terms of long term plans,” said Clovechok. “The Three Valley Gap issue isn’t going to go away.”
Shannon Smith was nearly killed by a rock slide in Three valley Gap in late 2017.
In response to her calls for action the Ministry said the safety of motorists driving through Three Valley Gap on the Trans-Canada Highway was a priority for them, and that it would install mesh nets to prevent rocks from falling onto the road.
Clovechok wrote in his most recent MLA report that a pilot project to install netting at Three Valley Gap will be implemented this summer.
But Smith, McKee, and Clovechok argue that netting would do little to stop a large rock like the one that fell on April 18 reaching the highway.
“The real problem is that when boulders the size of basketballs come down the netting works really well,” said McKee. “But when boulders the size of the one that did yesterday fall —the netting is going to do little to stop them.”
Clovechok said geo technical studies in the area need to be undertaken.
“Hopefully something is done before someone dies,” said Clovechok. “That netting is not going to stop those boulders coming down. There needs to be some geotechnical studies conducted there.”
The Ministry has also said that it will be difficult to install netting there because of avalanche control stations that have been installed at Three Valley Gap.
McKee said the only solution to the ongoing problems on the Trans-Canada Highway is to twin the highway.
“The rock slide yesterday shows just how precarious that section of the highway is,” said McKee. “The ultimate fix is twinning the highway. It opens up a lot more doors when there’s a closure. When there’s a large snowfall. When there’s a rockslide. But I think the ministry gets that. That’s there job.”
McKee said that he also discussed the eastern access to Revelstoke with the minister, and the ongoing Townley Street, Fourth Street, Victoria road roundabout.
He said his priorities for the project are to install a streetlight on the highway near the eastern access, and a merge lane going east and west to help direct truck traffic away from Downtown Revelstoke.