Stuck in the muck, some Cariboo roads causing problems

A new slippage on the Soda Ferry Creek Road is impacting the lives off four households with eight adults and five school-aged children. (Diane Dunaway photo)A new slippage on the Soda Ferry Creek Road is impacting the lives off four households with eight adults and five school-aged children. (Diane Dunaway photo)
Parts of the Soda Creek Ferry Road are one lane only due to erosion. (Laila Potvin photo)Parts of the Soda Creek Ferry Road are one lane only due to erosion. (Laila Potvin photo)
Jane Bowser of Hill Farm Nursery walks along the north end of the Soda Creek-Macalister Road about .5 kilometres from Highway 97 on Monday, March 29. (Barb Scharf photo)Jane Bowser of Hill Farm Nursery walks along the north end of the Soda Creek-Macalister Road about .5 kilometres from Highway 97 on Monday, March 29. (Barb Scharf photo)

Mud is making some rural roads impassable in the Cariboo, especially for residents in areas such as Soda Creek and Horsefly.

As of Monday, March 29, the 108 Horsefly Road has been closed in both directions because of muddy sections between Woodjam Road and Lowden Road.

A detour is in effect via Horsefly Road and Bells Lake Road.

Last weekend a maintenance foreman with Dawson Road Maintenance was being praised for thinking outside the box to make the Horsefly Lake Road passable in a section that was also very muddy.

A Ministry of Transportation spokesperson confirmed that rig-matting was installed along a soft section of Horsefly Road in response to some particularly muddy conditions, brought on by spring melt and high ground water conditions and will completing permanent repairs to the area as conditions allow.

Preparations include ensuring that proactive maintenance such as ditching and culvert cleaning is undertaken to protect road infrastructure, evaluating inventory on hand — culverts, temporary bridges, geotextile — and fortifying where needed, stockpiling materials — rip rap, gravels — at strategic locations, confirming availability of additional equipment and technical resources, and implementing load restrictions as needed to protect the integrity of the road infrastructure.

The April 2020 slide on the Soda Creek – Macalister Road at the 10 kilometre mark from the junction of Highway 97 cut off the normal route used by Fraserbench Farms owners Lynda Archibald and Charlie Brous.

Since the slide, they have been travelling north on the road to access Highway 97.

That was until the last few days when a section of the road became too muddy and vehicles were getting stuck.

The Soda Creek-Macalister "don't come down here!" saga continues. Not just the little cars getting stuck in the mud -…

Posted by Barb Scharf on Friday, March 26, 2021

Archibald said they have a dilemma.

There is one side road – Edmunds Road – that connects to the Soda Creek Macalister Road for them to access Highway 97, but it is pretty scary.

“It needs four-wheel drive, if you can actually make it,” she said.

She has an appointment in Kamloops on Wednesday, and was worried because Sunday’s snowfall made it even more difficult to use Edmunds Road.

With a four-wheel-drive tractor, Brous ran up and down Edmunds Road to set some tracks and overnight it froze just enough for Archibald to follow with her car.

She’s left it parked at the top end of the road more than three kilometres away so she will be able to access Highway 97 to go to her Wednesday appointment.

“There are some fairly steep sections, that’s what makes it difficult, and some more big bog holes,” she said, noting there is one other household that needs to use the road as well.

In the 32 years they have lived there, Archibald said there has not been any gravel placed on the road, and she believes a whole new base to the road is required.

“If you just try to grade the slop on top of the slop, you are not maintaining anything. There’s nothing to grade, it’s just mud.”

Read more: No current timeline to reopen Soda Creek-Macalister Road after March 29 road failure

Cariboo Regional District Area D director Steve Forseth said the district continues to lobby for a fix with the Ministry of Transportation, including sending a letter which was authorized at the board meeting Friday, March 26 to ask MOTI to have proactive road and infrastructure maintenance on rural roads like Soda Creek-Macalister Road.

“Many locals have reached out to me concerned that if an emergency occurs on this road, the only method of getting in is to medevac an individual out, which is both expensive and significantly ties up paramedics based out of Williams Lake,” Forseth said.

“In my discussions with the ministry, they are aware that this particular road needs significant work especially with the event from a year ago on this road.”

CRD staff are having a meeting with MOTI staff this week and the Soda Creek-Macalister Road is on the list of roads that they will be discussing and exploring ways to come up with solutions, Forseth said.

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes told the Tribune said the majority of her calls from constituents are about roads.

“We need far more investment in ditching and clearing culverts, and more resources from government,” Oakes said.

Read more: New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

The ministry spokesperson sad local road maintenance contractor Emcon Services was working to mitigate conditions and was on site Tuesday with crew and equipment.

As to the closed by the slide a year ago, the ministry said further geotechnical analysis is required at the site.

“Due to challenging soil stability and other factors, there is no prescribed repair at this time,” the spokesperson confirmed. “It is important to note the residents currently have access to Highway 97 from both sides of the slide.”

This article has been updated from the original version with comments from the Ministry of Transporation and Infrastructure.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Cariboo Regional District

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jason and Pharis Romero’s latest album <em>Bet on Love</em> garnered three Canadian Folk Music Awards. Here Patrick Metzger, bass, from left, Jason, Pharis and Marc Jenkins perform at Arts on the Fly 2019 in Horsefly. Both Metzger and Jenkins performed on the album, as well as John Reischman on mandolin. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Romeros’ latest album garners three Canadian Folk Music Awards

Recorded in Horsefly, Bet on Love was released in May 2020

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

The Nazko River is under a flood warning. (Emcon Services Inc. Facebook photo)
Nazko River under flood warning

Rest of the Cariboo, including Quesnel and Williams Lake at lowest advisory level

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. As of April 19, more than 230,000 doses have been administered across the Interior Health region. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
More than 230K doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Interior Health

A total of 220,216 first doses and 13,775 second doses have been given to residents across the B.C. Interior

The former C&C Wood Products mill will begin producing products again later this month, under new ownership. (Observer file photo)
Williams Lake-owned company to restart production at bankrupt specialty mill in Quesnel

President of Kandola Forest Products says he expects to fill 90 full-time jobs by end of year

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark. (Black Press Media files)
Former B.C. premier to testify at money laundering hearing today

Attorney General David Eby has been added to the witness list as well

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to table budget that’s expected to deal with COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Robinson released a fiscal update last December that said the impact of the pandemic on B.C.’s economy was uncertain

Paramedic Matthew Schlatter of Victoria is living a fuller life today due to the double lung transplant he received in 2019. He encourages B.C. residents to register as an organ donor and let their families know their wishes. (Instagram/Matthew Schlatter)
B.C. man living a full, active life after double-lung transplant

Matt Schlatter encourages people to register as an organ donor to help others live

(Photo by Mojpe/Pixabay)
Canadian kids extracting record amounts from Tooth Fairy

Our neighbours in the U.S. receive slightly less from Tooth Fairy visits

Most Read