$60 million long-term solution coming for Highway 99, site of the ten-mile slide
Jackie Tegart, MLA for Fraser-Nicola, has announced $60 million for work to stabilize the ten-mile slide on Highway 99 northeast of Lillooet, on behalf of Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone.
“The economic successes of all rural and First Nation communities throughout the province rely on a safe, efficient, and reliable transportation network,” Stone said. “For so many, this highway is a lifeline to employment and means of financial support, which is why it is crucial we get going on a long-term fix to get people – and goods – moving again.”
This provincial funding will improve reliability on this section of Highway 99 approximately 17 kilometres northeast of Lillooet and it will create approximately 350 direct and indirect jobs. The work will include placing approximately 400 soil anchors above the highway, a shear-resistant wall below the highway and rebuilding Highway 99 as a two-lane, paved 60km/h road. Finalized designs are expected to be complete by the spring of 2017 with construction starting in the summer of 2017. The ministry is committed to working closely with the Xaxli’p and the other St’at’imc communities throughout all stages of this project.
“We’re dedicated to improving this section of Highway 99 for Xaxli’p, the St’at’imc and all the residents and businesses of Lillooet and the rural population who rely heavily on this road to get to school, work and to bring goods in and out of their communities,” Tegart said. “We also acknowledge that this is one of the most challenging stretches of highway to maintain in the province due to the continuous movement of the ten mile slide. That’s why today we’re committing $60 million for a long-term fix to this stretch of highway.”
“Xaxli’p welcomes the long overdue fix, and remains cautiously optimistic that it will finally provide a solution to a problem that has stressed our region for over 30 years,” said Xaxli’p First Nations Chief Darrell Bob. “Highway 99 is a lifeline to the entire area, and we hope it truly paves the way to a better future for all our communities. We thank all of our past leaders and Elders who worked so tirelessly with dedication to see us through to today.”
The area known as “ten-mile slide”, is approximately 200 metres wide, 300 metres long and contains more than one million cubic metres of rock and earth affecting nearly the entire side of the mountain. Since 1988, this slow-moving slide has periodically made the road unstable and unreliable for travellers. Accelerated slide movement occurred in fall 2016 and resulted in a full closure of Highway 99 for eight days. The closure was lifted on Oct. 5, 2016 but the highway remains limited to single-lane alternating traffic with load restrictions.