Peace District to get 6 new highway bridges as part of flood mitigation plan

The area flooded in 2016, leading to evacuations and a state of emergency in the nearby district of Chetwynd.

Province invests $26.8M to improve safety along Highway 97

Gushing water from overflowing creek and river banks made roadways hazardous during the 2016 Peace District floods. (Spectra Energy)

The B.C. government is building six new bridges on a section of Highway 97 that it says will increase safety for those travelling the route in the event of heavy rain and flooding.

The government is investing $26.8 million on the Peace River flood mitigation plan. 

The area flooded in 2016, leading to evacuations and a state of emergency in the nearby district of Chetwynd.

Recovery work has been ongoing since then. 

Highway 97 west of Chetwynd was washed out during the 2016 flooding in the B.C. Peace region. (DriveBC/Twitter)

Highway lifeline

Chetwynd was one of the hardest hit districts during the June 2016 flooding. When washout damage forced a closure of Highway 97, the area was completely cut off from the rest of the province.

"The 2016 floods caused a lot of hardship for people in the Peace District, and we want to make sure our infrastructure can withstand future flooding events," Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena said in statement.

​The province plans to invest a total of $76 million in highway, side-road and bridge rehabilitation in northern B.C.this year.

The Stone Creek culvert flooded Highway 97 south of Chetwynd, B.C., in 2016. It's one of five damaged sites that will be replaced with a bridge and new highway approaches. (B.C. government/flickr.com)

Construction plans

Two-lane bridges will replace existing culverts at five locations along a stretch of Highway 97 southwest of Chetwynd:

  • Stone Creek, around 16 kilometres southwest of Chetwynd
  • Commotion Creek, around 20 kilometres west of Chetwynd​
  • Bowlder Creek, around 23 kilometres west of Chetwynd
  • Willow Flats, around 42 kilometres southwest of Chetwynd
  • Tippy Corner Creek, around 45 kilometres west of Chetwynd.

New highway approaches and stabilizing work on the creek banks are also part of the plan to prevent future washouts at sites that suffered severe damage in 2016.

Construction is expected to be finished by fall 2019. Drivers are advised to watch for detours and reduced speed zones.