Yesterday morning, Wednesday 7 December 2016, MLA for Fraser-Nicola Jackie Tegart was in Lillooet to announce, on behalf of Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone, $60 million for work to stabilize the ten-mile-slide on Highway 99 northeast of Lillooet.
“The economic successes of all rural and First Nation communities across the province rely on a safe, efficient, and reliable transportation network,” said Minister Stone in a news release. “For so many, this highway is a lifeline to employment and means of financial support, which is why it is crucial we get going on a long-term fix to get people – and goods - moving again.”
This provincial funding will see the placement of approximately 400 soil anchors above the highway, a shear resistant wall below the highway and rebuilding Highway 99 as a two lane, paved 60km/h road.
Finalized designs are expected to be complete by the spring of 2017 with construction starting in the summer of 2017.
“We’re dedicated to improving this section of Highway 99 for Xaxli’p, the St’at’imc and all the residents of Lillooet and the rural population who rely heavily on this road to get to school, work and to bring goods in and out of their communities,” said MLA for Fraser-Nicola Jackie Tegart. “We also acknowledge that this is one of the most challenging stretches of highway to maintain in the province due to the continuous movement of the ten mile slide. That’s why today we’re committing $60 million for a long-term fix to this stretch of highway.”
“Xaxli’p welcomes the long overdue fix, and remains cautiously optimistic that it will finally provide a solution to a problem that has stressed our region for over 30 years,” said Xaxli’p First Nations Chief Darrell Bob. "Highway 99 is a lifeline to the entire area, and we hope it truly paves the way to a better future for all our communities. We thank all of our past leaders and Elders who worked so tirelessly with dedication to see us through to today.”
The “ten mile slide” is approximately 200 metres wide, 300 metres long and contains over one million cubic metres of rock and earth affecting nearly the entire side of the mountain. Since 1988, this slow-moving slide has periodically made the road unstable and unreliable for travellers. Accelerated slide movement occurred this fall and resulted in a full closure of Highway 99 for eight days. The closure was lifted on October 5, 2016 but the highway remains limited to single lane alternating traffic with load restrictions.
SLRD Area B Director Mickey Macri says, "I cannot speak enough about the willingness of all involved to make this work. Thanks to the Ministry of Transportation, Xa’xlip, and our MLA Jackie Tegart."
(For more background, see the earlier notice.)
In the meantime, please note that the impacted section of road - Highway 99 at the Ten Mile (Fountain) Slide, about 15 km north of Lillooet, on Xaxli'p reserve lands - remains open only to single alternating traffic. Check Drive BC for the latest updates.
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