Funding is in place and plans are moving ahead to rebuild and realign West Fraser Road, replacing the road that was heavily damaged by flooding in 2018.
Once complete, the new road will provide local people with a safe, reliable and efficient roadway to get to and from their homes, schools, jobs and appointments.
“The West Fraser Road washout has had significant impacts to people and local communities, and we are committed to a long-term solution,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “I appreciate people’s patience throughout this very challenging time. The ministry continues to work on maintaining the alternative route, while ensuring safe travel through the area by building a new road.”
In April 2018, high water levels from the spring freshet caused Narcosli Creek to erode five sections of West Fraser Road on the west side of the Fraser River, approximately 17 kilometres south of Quesnel. The damage was severe, resulting in the road being closed over a three-kilometre section.
“We are pleased the funding is in place and the rebuilding of the West Fraser Road will start,” said Chief Roy Stump and Councillors William Baptiste, Howard Johnny and Chad Stump of the ?Esdilagh First Nation. “There has been a significant impact to our community since the washout of the West Fraser Road. With the washout, we travel a longer distance to get to Quesnel and our children have had to endure additional travel time to get to school, reducing their time at home. Realigning the West Fraser Road will provide ?Esdilagh with the proper egress route to Quesnel and decrease the amount of industry traffic we have to encounter – overall, providing more safety for our members.”
The ministry is finalizing the detailed design for the new road, which will bypass the active slide areas along the section washed out in 2018. Work will include the construction of five kilometres of two-lane road on a new alignment, a new bridge crossing Narcosli Creek and rock stabilization work along the new route.
Upon completion of the final engineering design activities, the ministry will hold a public information session in spring 2020 to share the finalized design and project timelines. Construction is expected to begin later this year. Completion is slated for late 2022.
Since the washout, a detour route has been in place via the Garner and Webster Lake Road system. Government has invested nearly $2 million to improve the route. Local ministry staff and the maintenance contractor continue to ensure the detour remains safe and reliable for road users.
- The project, which is estimated to cost up to $103.4 million, has been approved in principle for funding support through Public Safety Canada’s Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangement.
- West Fraser Road provides access to the ?Esdilagh First Nation community, ranches, logging activities, farming lands and local residences.
For more information on West Fraser Road, including aerial washout footage, visit: https://www.gov.bc.ca/westfraserroad