Today’s Poll

Commuters can expect delays as crews work to complete Highway 3A construction at Beasley Bluffs

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
March 28th, 2018

It’s not even summer and construction has started on local highways in the West Kootenay.

First up is the completion of the $5.7 million improvements to Highway 3A, which includes Beasley bluffs and the South Slocan overpass — the latter completed in 2017.

Construction on the Beasley Bluffs, which was not completed last year due to a variety of reasons, began recently, and is expected to be completed at the end of May.

“There were various factors that delayed completion, including additional work required to facilitate the detour, amphibian salvage taking longer than anticipated, and delays in blasting at the bluffs due to the extreme fire hazard last summer,” Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure staff told The Nelson Daily Tuesday.

“Similar delays occurred around the province last year as the ministry worked with our partners to minimize the risk of wildfires.”

MOTI staff said the project includes replacement of the two-lane South Slocan Bridge with a four-lane overhead rock fill and pedestrian tunnel, Beasley Bluffs rock cut and pavement repair, reconstruction of South Slocan Station Road with new cul-de-sac, and four kilometres of asphalt paved trails from South Slocan to Pass Creek Road, completed last August.

Motorists can expect minor delays, mainly to facilitate the final blasting and rock removal at the Beasley Bluffs. The MOTI information sign in Taghum says construction is from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. most of the week.

MOTI staff said commuters should continue to check DriveBC for updates, and use caution while driving through the project area.

Emergency officials say they’re happy part of the plan will see 10,000 cubic metres of rock — about 550 dump-truck loads — removed from the Beasley Bluffs, a rock overhang and dangerous curve about eight kilometres to the east of the overpass site.

Taking out the finger of rock that the road curves around will improve sight lines, create clear zones and improve snow storage in the area.

“Anything they can do is a great improvement,” retired Beasley Fire Chief Al Craft told The Nelson Daily in 2017. “It’s going to vastly improve sight lines by getting rid of a blind corner.”

Craft says his department responds to about three or four accidents along that stretch of road every year, mostly in the winter.

“It’s also bad this time of year (the spring), when animals are coming down the game trails on the bluffs,” says Craft. “You come around that curve and there’s an elk there, and you don’t see it in time. We get a lot of wildlife kills every year because of the pasture up above.”

Copcan Civil Ltd. Is responsible for the $5.7million contract.

Other aspects of the project have been cost-shared with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource and Rural Development, the Regional District of Central Kootenay, and the South Slocan Heritage Trail Society.

Categories: General

Other News Stories