Erosion along rural road causing concern for Barriere residents

By Chad Klassen
April 24, 2017 - 6:30pm

BARRIERE, B.C. — Residents of the Simpwc First Nation near barriere are sounding the alarm bells about a road they say could collapse any day. 

They have been concerned about dunn lake road for years, but it has become significantly worse in the last week. With more than a hundred vehicles travelling the road every day --- including school buses that take two trips a day --- residents want something done to fix the problem. 

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"At about the beginning of April, we noticed the top of the hill started to slough," said local resident and Simpwc First Nation member Shelly Loring. "It's pushed itself down now to the edge of Dunn Lake Road, and that's a huge volume of material that stands to come down."

Loring says the road has worsened even over the weekend with rain in the area. She's worried about it caving while someone's driving through. 

"Everybody is afraid of this particular area. Everybody has the same feeling of almost holding your breath and being worried about being carried away if it was to slough," said Loring. "The majority of the people I talked to have felt that this issue really has not been addressed."

Simpwc First Nation Chief Nathan Matthew has been in touch with the Transportation Ministry, but hasn't made any progress. 

"We really think it's becoming an urgent issue to deal with, and what we're concerned about is the Ministry of Highways doesn't seem to be taking it as seriously as we are," said Matthew. "It's their jurisdiction, it's a public road, and we think that something has to happen."

Late in the afternoon on Monday, Argo Maintenance was out trying to patch up the road, but residents say it's just a bandaid.

Loring said she's starting driving her two boys to school on her own, not wanting them to take the school bus into Barriere Secondary. 

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