VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Roughly five years after a major rebuild was completed, News1130 has learned the Sea to Sky Highway already needs significant repairs.
A retaining wall in West Vancouver is causing problems.
It’s just north of the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal, above Pasco Road, a small, residential road with remote access.
A construction bulletin was sent by the province to people living on that road on April 8th, telling them soil anchors need to be installed, and a new-reinforced wall face needs to be constructed.
For people living in the area, this means no access to their homes for eight hours a day from this time next week until the end of September.
The Sea to Sky Highway was largely rebuilt by contractors Peter Kiewit and Sons for the Olympics, completed in 2009.
This is not the first retaining wall built by Kiewit on the South Coast that has needed repair. Back in 2011, a retaining wall in Coquitlam as part of the Highway One expansion had to be rebuilt.
Transportation critic raises questions and demands answers
NDP Transportation Critic Claire Trevena is wondering why major repairs for the Sea to Sky highway are needed.
She understands things can breakdown or need repairs but she says when it happens after only five years, that’s a concern. “The problem is that this has happened so quickly, that is the really troubling issue. Were there shortcuts made? What happened to get to this stage? Those are the sorts of questions that would have to be asked.”
With the province having spent $600 million to build what she refers to as a “landmark highway,” she wants to know if the repair cost will fall on the contractor or taxpayers.
“How could that happen and secondly, you have to ask, who’s going to end up paying for this bill? You would’ve thought if you’re going to be building a $600 million highway, you’d get it right and not have to be patching it up within six years.”
It’s not just about the money; she says with parts of the wall “crumbling,” she’s worried about safety for drivers and people living in the area.
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure response:
- The ministry reviews and audits the safety of our Sea-to-Sky corridor infrastructure regularly. This includes the section that runs parallel to Pasco Road in West Vancouver.
- There are no safety concerns for the residents of Pasco Road. The ministry is exploring some mitigative works to the internal structure of the walls at this location to help improve the long term performance of this infrastructure.
- The ministry originally proposed preliminary work to start April 27th but due to residents’ concerns, staff are working collaboratively with local residents to discuss impacts and accommodate access to and from their homes before work proceeds.
- The ministry takes the safety and reliability of our highway network seriously. All our provincial corridors (including the Sea-to-Sky Highway) are monitored and assessed regularly to ensure they perform to our standards.