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Get a handle on it: Coquitlam mayor frustrated with repeated sinkholes due to Fortis pipeline installation

Last Updated May 15, 2019 at 12:56 pm PST

A sinkhole along Como Lake Avenue, the fourth since Fortis BC has begun work in the area says Coquitlam mayor Richard Stewart. (Courtesy Twitter @MayorStewart)

Coquitlam mayor Richard Stewart says he's frustrated with sinkholes, traffic and safety as Fortis BC work continues

Traffic westbound on Como Lake is being diverted at Schoolhouse Street following this latest problem

COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) – With sinkholes developing on Como Lake Avenue for the fourth time in just over two weeks, Coquitlam’s mayor says the contractor installing Fortis BC’s new pipeline has to get a handle on the situation.

The big thing you’ll immediately notice if you drive through the area is the traffic clogs.

But for Richard Stewart this isn’t just an inconvenience for drivers. He has concerns about cars flying down side streets not built for that volume of traffic.

“When you get rat running trying to get around the unplanned closure of a road, people are put at risk. It’s really pedestrians in neighbourhoods that are put at risk,” he says.

The mayor says his city is expecting better.

“There are heavy buses driving on the roadway right next to a 15 foot deep trench,” says Stewart. “We have to rely on the the contractor to have the integrity of the trench protected so that traffic doesn’t get hampered or worse.”

Traffic westbound on Como Lake is being diverted at Schoolhouse Street following this latest problem — Fortis BC says it’s revamping its construction techniques.

In a statement, Fortis BC says the City of Coquitlam has been notified immediately after each event.

“We’ve been working closely with the City and local RCMP on traffic calming measures for the surrounding streets and appropriate detour routes during these temporary lane closures,” the statement says.

“We have a rigorous safety monitoring program and operating policies in place to maintain safety for the public and our crews which enable us to quickly respond to events such as this.”