By Owen Munro/Hope Standard
After chaos overtook the Coquihalla Highway and forced officials to close the roads and leave cars stranded, the snow is finally receding.
But it’s what the melting snow is leaving behind that has Mayor Wilfried Vicktor concerned.
He is concerned about the condition of the roads not just on the highway, but in town. He says the public works director will soon do an evaluation of the roads in Hope, saying there is “significant damage” that the district will have to fix.
“I have never seen such intense damage to roads as bad as it has played out here the last couple of months,” Vicktor said. “This winter activity couldn’t have really been anticipated because it was a once in a 40 year event.”
The district has earmarked a significant amount of money in the 2017 budget for public works, as it’s set to receive just over $515,000. Vicktor said that they also do preparations for the spring to avoid flooding and get street sweepers out as soon as possible to help with the salt left on the roads.
“The big issue is making sure all the storm drains are clean and over time they don’t clog up so the water can run-off,” he said. “We’re going to have to prioritize repairs and the safety issues have to be dealt with first.”
When it comes to roads that are particularly bad, Vicktor says there are almost too many to mention. Then there is the issue of sidewalks, which have curved and broken apart through the winter.
While the worst of the winter is over, the real problem will be the state of the roads going forward.