May 17, 2014 - 1:55 PM
WEST KELOWNA - Work will begin Tuesday, May 20 on Gellatly Road to repair the slope failure that forced the recent closure of the road. TT Contracting Ltd. has been contracted by the District of West Kelowna to begin the work which is estimated to take five weeks.
The work will involve the installation of a 1.8 metre diameter culvert for Smith Creek. Fill will then be placed on top of the culvert to help stabilize the steep bank on both sides of the creek. It is not expected that roadwork will be required, but this may change when brush and debris are removed from the affected area. The District has already installed an emergency bypass for the sanitary sewer line, owned by the Regional District of Central Okanagan, which runs under the road to prevent any environmental contamination should the pipe be damaged by further slope failure before the culvert is in place.
As part of the work, an environmental assessment and plan will be conducted to determine if any wildlife in the affected area must be accommodated or relocated.
On May 2 the District closed Gellatly Road, from approximately Witt Road to Angus Drive, when a 160-metre long section of the bank below the road began to erode. The District commissioned geotechnical and hydrological reports on the erosion which indicated there is a high probability that additional erosion will occur and that stabilization measures should be carried out immediately in order to protect the public and the existing embankment and roadway as well as buried and overhead utilities.
Mayor Doug Findlater declared a Local State of Emergency May 12, confirmed by Council May 13, for the Gellatly Road slope failure. The District has received confirmation of $440,250 in funding to come from the Province of BC through Emergency Management BC, with the support of the Regional Emergency Program, to conduct emergency repairs to the roadway. Recognizing that the District had planned to upgrade this section of Gellatly Road in 2015, it is working cooperatively with the Province on this emergency repair, and will contribute $1.3 million in order to conduct repair and upgrade works at the same time.
The Local State of Emergency was called in order for the municipality to access the powers authorized in Section 12 and 13 of the BC Emergency Program Act. The slope failure has put the roadway at risk, which is a transit and emergency services route, and also a nearby watermain, a gravity sewer main (owned by Regional District of Central Okanagan) and private utility infrastructure.
The detour along Witt and Carrall Roads will remain in place. Motorists are reminded that the speed limit on this detour is 30 km/hr and that West Kelowna RCMP are routinely patrolling the area.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014