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“There are real geotechnical problems there” says Minister about South Taylor Hill

Emergency repairs being conducted on Highway 97 at the South Taylor Hill due to slippage of the underlying hill in May 2017. Photo by Chris Newton
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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena says that planning work is underway to complete the widening of the South Taylor Hill, but that the geotechnical challenges of the hill itself mean there’s no concrete date set for when the project will be finished.

The Minister was in the Peace Region on Wednesday and Thursday to meet with Ministry staff and get an update on construction projects that are planned for area highways. Trevena said that work on the second phase of widening the Alaska Highway on the infamous hill is currently in the planning stage, but that the geotechnical properties of the hill are proving to be a challenge. In May of last year, Highway 97 on the South Taylor Hill was reduced to single-lane alternating traffic for several weeks when part of the hill slumped during a wetter-than-average Spring.

“It isn’t an easy hill to fix. You’ve got a very steep grade, you’ve got a bank that will have problems with slippage. You could see in the lower part the difficulties that came in four-laning that lower part of the hill. There is planning work on that second part of how we can do both the geotechnical side of it to stabilize the hill as well as where we’re going to be doing it to reduce the grade and make sure we can get that widened to make sure it is a safe section of highway.”

Trevena added that she has been made aware both by Peace Region residents and local MLAs Dan Davies and Mike Bernier about the importance of getting the hill fixed as soon as possible. She said that staff are currently working on drawing up a plan to make sure that the fix to the hill is done properly to reduce stability issues in the future.

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