Summer Road Opening Update #1

Posted by on April 26, 2013

The Bridge River Valley Community Association (BRVCA, formally BRVEDS)  has been in contact with the various ministries involved regarding snow removal on the Hurley.   A local contractor from Gold Bridge has been hired to do the clearing this year and is due to start on May 10.  Tom Illidge has cleared the road many times in the past and has a big D8 Cat with ice lugs so things are looking positive for a May long weekend opening this year!  Updates from MOT & MOF officials are below:

Update from Brad Bushill, Area Manager, Ministry of Transportation

I was up yesterday with the Avalanche Technician and we for an initial assessment to see if an attempt can be made this year to open the road.

Currently there we probed 190cm compacted snow at the summit. We estimate that if the weather remains warm we should see around 120cm at the summit tapered out over approx 6kms in about 3 weeks. If this holds true the funding remains in place, there is equipment available, and the avalanche conditions do not prevent us from working, there should be no issues in having the road open for the long weekend in May.

I must stress that there are a lot of factors besides snow depth which need to align for this project to proceed and they are assessed each year on a year to year basis. It should not be assumed that money will be allocated and conditions will be favorable for an opening each year. This year as of now it appears that there is a high probability it will be able to be opened.

Regarding gradings. I can only speak for the summit portion between the steel bridge near Long Goat Rd over the summit. IRL graders are committed to the stabilization dust palliative project until late June / July. Following this they will fit a grade in at some point. Last season it was graded once by IRL and the MOTI section is generally flatter and the surface remains relatively good as noted last year in a joint field visit with Director Demare. The recent logging west of Bralorne has resulted in brushing, drainage upgrades and they will be required to grade the Hurley River Road on our unmaintained portion locally known as the “East Hurley”.

As noted above MOTI has jurisdiction on the portion between Squamish Forest District right through to Bralorne. The classification of the road is a 6f with 6 being the summer maintenance classification and f designating the winter maintenance classification which is closed in winter, no maintenance. There are numerous specifications for all aspects of road maintenance associated with the 6 designation however they are done on a much lesser frequency as 6 is a low designated road.

MOTI will continue to focus our efforts on maintaining access along the year round opened Road 40.

Update from Malcolm Schulz, Engineering Officer , Sea to Sky Forest District

We will aim at carrying out two grades between the Lillooet River turnoff, and the “Welcome to Squamish” sign.  Similar to the Cascade District, we are aiming at doing these after the long-weekend to prolong the effect.  Although there is signage at the bottom of the hill, I would encourage all users to use four wheel drive, as this obviously helps prolong the life on the steep grades.

Throughout the summer we hope to replace two large culverts on the switchbacks.  A temporary road closure will be planned for mid-week.  Once a schedule has been determined I will forward it.

We are also working with MoTI (Squamish), to try and secure millings for the steep switchback grades.  No word yet if those will become available. All projects are obviously contingent on funding being approved.

Update from Ken Conway-Brown, Engineering Officer, Cascades Forest District

The section from Gold Bridge to the East Hurley turnoff will be graded by Aspen Planers this spring. Once they are done hauling we will take over and grade after the long weekends as we have done in previous years. We hope to finish brushing a short section in the fall as well.

 

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