The Province has started work in the Bella Coola valley and Tweedsmuir Provincial Park to restore roads and bridges washed out in recent years by major storm systems and severe flooding.
The Bella Coola valley was deluged with record rainfalls in fall 2010 and again in fall 2011, causing millions of dollars of damage to the Talchako, Nusatsum, Cacoohtin and Noosgulch forest service roads as well as roads and infrastructure within Tweedsmuir Provincial Park.
Bella Coola Valley Forest Service Roads
Remedial work to stabilize the Cacoohtin Forest Service Road started last October and resumed May 1, following the winter snow melt. Full access along the Cacoohtin is expected to be restored later this spring.
On the Noosgulch Forest Service Road, reconnaissance work is underway to look at options to relocate a bridge and a section of the road. Only 500 metres of the Noosgulch Forest Service Road is accessible at this time.
The Nusatsum Forest Service Road suffered the worst of the damage with two major bridges destroyed, four bridges knocked off their footings or missing their approaches, and extensive damage to several parts of the roadway structure. One section of the Nusatsum has been scoured away by high water and a portion of the road needs to be rebuilt.
Planning and assessments are underway for the Nusatsum project as well as for the Talchako Forest Service Road, which needs two bridges repaired.
Support for the repairs is provided by Public Safety Canada as well as the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations in the Bella Coola valley and the Ministry of Environment in Tweedsmuir Park. Flooding was severe enough for the federal government to classify it as a natural disaster eligible for relief funding, under the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements program, to cover response and recovery costs.
Many backcountry recreation opportunities are still available in the Bella Coola valley. The Clayton Falls and Salloomt Forest Service roads were undamaged by the recent flooding events. The popular McColl Flats Recreation Site, on the Noomst Forest Service Road, also remains open.
Tweedsmuir Provincial Park
Tweedsmuir Park remains open to visitors and BC Parks expects work to begin later this month with no disruptions to day-use or camping activities.
The Young Creek, Stillwater trail and Stillwater Lake suspension bridges were all completely destroyed in the catastrophic flood of 2010. The Young Creek vehicle bridge installation is the first in a series of repairs required to reopen access to the Turner Lake Canoe Chain and Hunlen Falls viewpoint.
The Young Creek bridges are expected to be installed by late summer or early fall with the remainder of the Hunlen Falls/Turner Lake Canoe Chain repairs completed by summer 2013.
The Burnt Bridge loop trail was partially destroyed by the same flood event. Work on the trail will be undertaken after the Tote Road and Turner Lake Canoe Chain are repaired (likely in 2013).
For Forest Service Roads Information -
Bella Coola Field Office
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
For Tweedsmuir Park Information -
South Tweedsmuir Park
Ministry of Environment