FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Over 100 residents in Charlie Lake have signed a petition asking BC Hydro to change the route that will be driven by trucks hauling logs from the future reservoir of the Site C dam.
BC Hydro contractors began clearing the area that will be filled by the dam’s reservoir two years ago, with the clearing scheduled to be done in stages until 2021.
Gene Gladysz, who is one of several residents involved in setting up the petition, said that recently logging trucks transporting logs from the eastern end of the reservoir area have been travelling along the entire length of the Old Hope Road.
As of 10:30 a.m. Thursday, the petition had 115 signatures.
BC Hydro said in a letter to residents that the clearing of the eastern part of the reservoir will take place over the winter and that crews would improve safety by adding several pullouts to the existing Old Hope Road and improvements to several of the road’s feeder routes.
Hydro also stated that the logging contractor will also coordinate activities to minimize traffic during school bus pick-up and drop-off hours.
Despite this, Gladysz said that residents have issues with the speed and frequency of trucks using the road, especially during the upcoming winter season since the majority of the road is unpaved.
He explained that the number of logging trucks using the two-lane road – roughly 20 per day – poses a safety risk to the 100-plus residents that live along the road, especially when parents stand with their children near the side of the road in the mornings while waiting for the school bus.
Gladysz said that residents have proposed two alternate routes for the logging trucks to take from the Peace River Valley.
The first alternative route would require crews to rebuild the old road to Hudson’s Hope, which would result in the logging trucks using Highway 29 from Bear Flat to travel to the Mile 54 junction.
Gladysz explained that the road itself is still there but not maintained, meaning crews would only need to do some maintenance to get it back into serviceable shape.
The second alternative, which is not ideal but would reduce the number of properties that the logging trucks pass, would be for the logging trucks to head northbound on the 277 Road instead of using the north-south stretch of the Old Hope Road.
Gladysz said that residents will be bringing the petition to BC Hydro’s attention, and also plan to approach Electoral Area ‘C’ Director Brad Sperling to voice their concerns as well.
The petition can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/mikky-walker-bchydro-com-say-no-to-bc-hydro-logging-trucks-on-the-old-hope-road-charlie-lake?fbclid=IwAR1Ylg1ABbxadIt_g0kToArBwAcq8L1mCW5wF6OsovpAaFZVYZsRuvfi0ho