The province is promising a safer trip for those travelling the highway northeast of Lillooet.The Ministry of Transportation announced Tuesday that a slope stabilization project at Ten Mile Slide on Highway 99 is complete.
The work is expected to improve the long-term safety and reliability for people travelling the highway northeast of Lillooet, a ministry news release states.
The provincial government committed $60 million to the project in 2016.
According to 2015 provincial traffic figures, 1,560 vehicles travel through the area per day, 19% of which are heavy vehicles.To stabilize the slope, 148 concrete and composite piles were installed below the highway to support the road and prevent further movement, and 276 soil anchors were placed above the highway. The road was then reconstructed to two lanes to allow for safe and efficient travel. Approximately 40 local workers were hired to help construct the project.
"As a result of the collaborative work between the province and Xaxli'p on this geotechnically complex project, the Ten Mile slope is now stable with a safe, two-lane highway open through the site," said Transport Minister Rob Fleming, in the release."I thank Xaxli'p, area residents, commercial drivers and others for their patience as we worked to ensure safer and more reliable travel through the area for years to come."
Ten Mile Slide is located within Xaxli'p's Fountain Indian Reserve, approximately 17 kilometres northeast of Lillooet, said the province. This stretch of highway has experienced ongoing slide activity for several decades."Xaxli'p Chief and Council are very pleased that the Ten Mile Slide Stabilization Project has come to a completion," said Xaxli'p Chief Colleen Jacob in the release. "It has been a long process dating back decades, as current and previous Xaxli'p leadership worked with the ministry to identify a more long-term solution to the ongoing movement of this large tunnel earthflow. It is our intent that this has greatly improved the safety and reliability of the road for all, including Xaxli'p, all surrounding St'at'imc and Lillooet communities, and the many travellers who access this route. We would like to extend our thanks to all the workers of Xaxli'p Development Corporation, Flatiron, local businesses and the ministry, who have helped to ensure the safety of the people through the construction."
Lillooet’s mayor also had positive words to share."The District of Lillooet is pleased to hear about the completion of the Ten Mile Slide Project," said Peter Busse, mayor of Lillooet, in the release.
"The load restriction, now lifted, will significantly lessen the impact economically for the transport of goods in and out of our area. We extend our appreciation to Xaxli'p for working with the Province on this important work in their territory. This was a very significant technical project with a leading-edge design, and we were most fortunate that the chosen contractors were of the calibre. The contractors, together with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure engineering team, offered a high degree of success in delivering this project, maintaining the integrity of this important piece of highway that will carry us well into the future."Minor ground settlement of the rebuilt highway is expected to occur. The gravel surface will remain for approximately two years until the site fully settles, at which time the highway will be paved.
As the primary connector between Lillooet and Kamloops, Highway 99 is vital to local communities and to the local and regional economy.
Find out more about the project here.