Merritt mayor frustrated with highway contractor, truckers

By Greg Fry
January 5, 2018 - 2:10pm

KAMLOOPS — After a year of gradual improvements, Merritt Mayor Neil Menard says there's been a big step backwards recently in regards to the maintenance of the highways near his community.

"Two years ago we did an in-depth review of the highways and we had good meetings with VSA Highway Maintenance," he tells CFJC Today. "Last winter was not bad, they had improved but this winter and over the summer we've had some issues with them going through town, Highway 8, the mess they leave on both sides of the road when they plow through here."

Added to that he says is "more than two" Coquihalla Highway closures so far this winter.

"Last Friday it took me 9.5 hours to get from Langley to Merritt. Part of it was the lack of plows as far as I'm concerned but also we still have a problem with our truckers not doing what they're supposed to be doing chaining up. Actually I've got a message into the head director for highways here to have a chat with him about that."

He says it's a a situation that needs to improve because of the headaches they cause in town.

"When we have some issues on the Coquihalla, like accidents, first responders all head up there. Our emergency room a lot of the time can't handle all of the situations. It also creates problems for the everyday traveller: where do they go? where do they stay?

CFJC Today called VSA Highway Maintenance for comment on this story but hasn't heard back.


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