British Columbia

Sea-to-Sky Highway in need of repairs near Horseshoe Bay

The Sea-to-Sky Highway is to undergo repairs to a retaining wall — just five years after the B.C. government spent $600 million to widen and straighten large sections of the once-called 'Highway of Death.'

Remedial work comes only 5 years after B.C. government spent $600M improving 'Highway of Death'

The Sea-to-Sky Highway will be undergoing repairs to a retaining wall near Pasco Road in West Vancouver, B.C. (Google Streetview)

The Sea-to-Sky Highway is to undergo repairs to a retaining wall near Horseshoe Bay — just five years after the Winter Olympics for which the B.C. government spent $600 million to widen and straighten large sections of the once-called 'Highway of Death.'

For years, fatal head-on-crashes and long closures were tragically common along the section of Highway 99 that links Vancouver to Whistler. 

Now, a portion of the highway in West Vancouver needs remedial work that will continue into September, said Tom Cloutier, who works with the company in charge of the repairs, Miller Construction.

Cloutier said the company will add anchors into the wall on Pasco Road. Highway 99 traffic will not be affected, but residents near Pasco Road will experience delays. 

According to the Ministry of Transportation, the work isn't the result of immediate safety concerns. 

"The ministry is exploring some mitigative works to the internal structure of the walls at this location to help improve the long term performance of this infrastructure," it said in an emailed statement. 

The repairs were slated to begin on April 27 but after some residents raised concerns, ministry staff are working with the local community to discuss how the work will affect access to and from their homes.

According to a construction bulletin posted in the neighbourhood, there would be no access to the residences of Pasco Road via vehicle, bike or pedestrian traffic from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday. There will also be a four-week period at some point in the future when the southbound ramp off Highway 99 to Horseshoe Bay Drive will be closed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Jan Easton, one of the residents who lives in the area, says the closures would affect approximately 20 residences.

"There was no explanation, no discussion, no consultation," he says. "We rely on this road. If we didn't have our laneway going up, there is no alternative towards the Squamish area."

A group of residents gathered on Monday evening to mobilize and will meet with representatives from the Ministry of Transportation on Wednesday to ask instead for night-time closures. 

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