An aerial drone shot shows the rockslide that shut down Highway 3 near Christina Lake Wednesday morning, Feb. 9. Photo courtesy of Colin Chitty

An aerial drone shot shows the rockslide that shut down Highway 3 near Christina Lake Wednesday morning, Feb. 9. Photo courtesy of Colin Chitty

Christina Lake slide still partly blocking Hwy 3

Delays expected to last the weekend, says highway contractor

Highway 3 is still down to single-lane alternating traffic at the site of Wednesday’s rock slide in Christina Lake, according to highway contractor Yellowhead Road and Bridge (YRB).

Operations manager Greg McNeil had hoped to reopen the road in both directions by 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, but later revised that to the same time Monday, Feb. 14. A huge rock pile remains over-top the 20-metre of the southbound lane near the intersection of East Lake Drive, he said.

READ MORE: Rock slide shuts down Highway 3 near Christina Lake

Yellowhead Road and Bridge crews chip away at the Christina Lake slide on Thursday, Feb. 10. Photo: Submitted

Yellowhead Road and Bridge crews chip away at the Christina Lake slide on Thursday, Feb. 10. Photo: Submitted

YRB crews made steady progress Wednesday, but a second, smaller slide set them back Wednesday night. In particular, McNeil said a boulder the size of a Volkswagen Beetle came to settle at the top of the slide, making it impossible to haul rocks from the bottom.

Specially trained “rock scalers” were in-bound from Vancouver as McNeil spoke to The Gazette late Thursday afternoon. It will fall to them to climb onto the boulder, which they will have to split by hand. Site conditions won’t allow for jack hammering, McNeil explained.

Another big slide is unlikely, he continued, citing a preliminary analysis by a geotechnical engineer who surveyed the slide Wednesday.

Motorists can expect up to 20-minute delays on either side of the slide through the weekend, with five-minute delays after 5 p.m., he said.


 

@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

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laurie.tritschler@boundarycreektimes.com

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