Work has been ongoing at the 10 Mile Slide site on Highway 99 for almost two years, since major slide activity in September 2017 closed the highway for several weeks and led to load restrictions on heavy vehicles, which impacted the economy of the region.
Now the next phase of work is about to start, to stabilize the site and improve the long-term safety and reliability at one of the most technically challenging sites to maintain in the province.
Ten Mile Slide, which is located within Xaxli’p’s Fountain Indian Reserve, is approximately 17 kilometres northeast of Lillooet on Highway 99. The stretch of highway — part of the primary route between Lillooet and Kamloops — has been plagued by ongoing slide activity for several decades.
“We understand the impact highway conditions have had on the Xaxli’p community, the tourism industry, and local businesses,” says Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “I would like to thank Xaxli’p for working closely with the ministry to advance this project, which will mean safer travel through the area for years to come.”
Following the 2017 slides, tour buses were among the vehicles unable to use the single-lane route. In March of this year load restrictions were eased, allowing the buses to once more travel between Whistler and Lillooet and on to points beyond, bringing some relief to businesses that depend on tour bus traffic.
Approximately 1,600 vehicles travel this section of Highway 99 every day, with 19 per cent of the traffic comprised of heavy vehicles (trucks and buses).
The Phase 2 main stabilization work includes the installation of tied-back concrete and composite piles below the highway, 200 soil anchors above the highway, and reconstruction of the highway to two lanes with a guardrail.
The work is expected to be complete by spring 2021. Ministry staff will continue to monitor the slide for approximately two years after that date before paving the new section of two-lane highway.
Phase 1, which was completed in February 2019, included the installation of 44 soil anchors.
Consultation with Xaxli’p, other stakeholders, and the public has been ongoing throughout the process and will continue until the $60-million project is completed. The ministry typically spends between $240,000 and $2.3 million annually to maintain the highway through the 10 Mile Slide area.
During construction, drivers can expect delays and temporary closures. Motorists should slow down and use caution when travelling through the work area, and obey all traffic control signs and personnel.