Repairs begin on Highway 3 washout

Repairs were started on the section of Highway 3 washed two by a slide east of the Paulson Bridge.

Repairs were started on the section of Highway 3 washed out by a slide two kilometres east of the Paulson Bridge last week.

Engineers came up with a plan to complete the repairs. According to Ken Lawson, division manager for the Kootenay Boundary with Emcon Services Inc. drilling, blasting and an extended work zone will be necessary during the process.

Traffic delays will be occurring and at some point there is likely to be 20- to 30-minute delays and the use of a pilot car. “We will try to give as much notice as we can,” said Lawson.

“Depending on how the blasting goes — we don’t expect a lot of of it on the road. They have designed the blast that takes [the debris] away from the road,”added Lawson. “But there is always some on the road.”

The repair design will fill the gap from the bottom up with rock. Rock to fill the hole will be coming from an area to the south side of the road, just west of the slide area.

“The silver lining will be to improve some sight distance there,” explained Lawson.

The site is also a spot for rock fall and winter rock debris hazards on the road, so the blasting will improve those conditions as well. “It is the closest source, it’s handy there, and it will have a benefit,” he said.

Excavators were working to build a road down below the highway to use for the fill and danger trees in the work area were being assessed and dropped this week.

Repairs are expected to take four or five weeks.

“Allow for extra time and plan for delays,” concluded Lawson.

Castlegar News