British Columbia

Sea-to-Sky repairs could be result of 'hurried' work: Mike Pearson

Repairs along two sections of the Sea-to-Sky Highway could be the result of a rush job during the initial construction, according to Mike Pearson, who worked as a blast superintendent on the project.

Mike Pearson says he noticed bulging, cracking and drainage problems on a wall along the highway

Mike Pearson took photos of cracks in the wall along Highway 99 in the Eagleridge area in West Vancouver, B.C. (Mike Pearson)

Repairs along two sections of the Sea-to-Sky Highway could be the result of a rush job during the initial construction, according to Mike Pearson, who worked as a blast superintendent on the project.

The $600-million upgrade, completed in 2010, was supposed to last at least 75 years, but two retaining walls along the route from Vancouver to Whistler, B.C., are already in need of repair.

"In my opinion, what happened at the time — 2006, 2007 — the walls were built in a hurry and there's bulging, the panels are open, there's some problems with drainage, which is a big deal," Pearson told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone spoke in the legislature saying the walls are "absolutely safe," and Pearson said he has also been told by the Ministry of Transportation that the damage is only cosmetic.

"These are walls that aren't seen by the public because they drive over top of them and the face of these walls is down over the edge," he said.

"I think that if the public had to drive by the walls, if they were on the upper side of the highway, I don't think they would have passed."

Mike Pearson said there are noticible problems with drainage in a section of the wall under the Sea-to-Sky Highway in West Vancouver, B.C. (Mike Pearson)

Pearson said he didn't see any issues with the construction while it was being completed, and said crews were careful to ensure all materials used came with the necessary paperwork.

Pearson would like to see an engineering audit of the highway to ensure the road is safe.

The Ministry of Transportation declined CBC's request for an interview/

To hear the full interview with Mike Pearson, listen to the audio labelled: Sea-to-Sky Highway needs repair.

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