After a month and a half of clearing vegetation and rock, the berm at Exit 170 is finally cleared thanks to the hard work of the Emil Anderson Group.
Starting their work late November and finishing in January, the berm at Exit 170 is part of the many catchments that Emil Anderson is tasked with clearing and maintaining throughout the Hope area. Though Exit 170 was already part of the company’s catchment clean for the Spring, they were able to attend to the berm thanks to having the resources at the time.
“Because we had some extra equipment and personnel, we were able to get it done first,” says Graham Betts, one of the superintendents for Emil Anderson. “This was something on our radar to get cleaned out. The District was aware of it. Emil Anderson was aware of it, though it was the city of Hope who pushed to get that particular one cleared out.”
Constructed of compact soil, gravel, and rocks, a berm is a ridge or barrier that either prevents, or directs water away from a particular area. It acts as a form of drainage which can be useful in lessening the severity of atmospheric events such as floods.
According to Betts there are at least 12 catchments that the company is responsible for — though he says that they usually end up tending to more.
“When we get atmospheric events or heavy snow melts, the water in a creek bed rises faster than the creek can handle. And it’s important that we get in there and clean the catchments out,” says Betts. “This specific catchment [at Exit 170] was overgrown so we needed to go in there and scrape it out for better overflow.”
Since the 2021 floods, the District of Hope has been hard at work addressing structural issues throughout the district, in order to prepare for future atmospheric events. Clearing out the berm was one important step in achieving this goal.
The District says they are grateful for the work Emil Anderson did and continues to do.
Founded in Ontario in 1939, Emil Anderson is a group well known in B.C., and among it’s communities, for providing infrastructure construction, road maintenance, traffic management, land development, and more. In 1945, Emil Anderson Construction was awarded a four-year contract to help build the Hope-Princeton Highway. In 1950, this resulted in the company establishing their head office in Hope.
During the 2021 floods, the group worked alongside first-responder teams, to help rescue people from flooded roads, save the Barrowtown Pump Station, and provide their services to the Ministry of Transportation, communities, and stakeholders of the Fraser Valley.
Since then, the company has been providing their services for flood repairs. This includes major repairs at 20 key junctions along the Coquihalla highway, between Hope and Merritt, along with additional road and highway repairs.
Anyone who notices highway issues, has complaints, or wish to tell the company about something they did right, should contact Emil Anderson at 250-762-9999. A form is also available online at emilanderson.ca/contact.
READ MORE: VIDEO: Emil Anderson Group reflects back on career-defining efforts to fix B.C.’s atmospheric-riverdamage
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