Crew and equipment are at the Dog Creek slide area in Williams Lake removing debris from the road Tuesday, Nov. 3.
When contacted recently the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure confirmed it has no immediate plans for the area as there is “no imminent danger to the public infrastructure.”
The ministry noted in an e-mailed response it will continue to ensure that the failed material does not impact traffic on the municipal portion of Dog Creek Road by removing material as the situation dictates.
“Ministry and maintenance contractor staff will continue to monitor the slide’s movement, which historically can be defined as a ‘gentle creep,’” a ministry spokesperson stated. “Slide movement tends to slow through the winter months when below-zero temperatures result in both surface and ground water levels freezing.”
Mayor Walt Cobb described the situation as “frustrating.”
“It’s the ministry’s responsibility and the debris keeps coming over the road. Until we can figure out where it’s coming from nothing’s going to change.”
Jason Pole lives with his wife, and family on Roberts Road and their property line is about 75 feet from the slide.
They have lived there for 10 years and have been watching the slide’s progress.
On Thursday, Oct. 22 he showed the Tribune and said he’s contacted the ministry and the Cariboo Regional District with his concerns.
“Had they dealt with the problem at bottom of the hill early it probably would have been a small job,” Pole said. “Because as they take material out, it just creates more room for more material to come down the hill.”
With all the water from the rain this year, he said they’ve noticed about 200 feet of progress.
“They [the ministry] are predicting by their own admission they are going to have an even bigger problem next year with it because they are expecting a good strong snowpack with it this year which means in the spring there will be even more water flowing through there.”
If that happens he doesn’t think the slide will have a problem eating away the hillside to his property line and that it’s expanding toward a couple of other properties as well.
The homes are all far enough away from the slide, he said he does not see that they will be impacted, but there are some outbuildings that could be impacted.
“Amongst the neighbours and I, we all talked about it, and we are fairly certain there is an underground creek that runs through that area and goes under Dog Creek Road which is why it heaves all the time and continues diagonally across the properties on the other side to Highway 20 where it heaves every year.”
It’s a problem for the City, the province and the Cariboo Regional District, he added.
“They all have a reason to address this.”
Pole has suggested a retaining wall, heavy equipment grading the entire hill or putting in back fill at the top of the hill as possible solutions.
“Now it’s gotten so big, it’s going to be big problem to solve.”