Work on the 10 Mile Slide stabilization project on Highway 99 northeast of Lillooet is now 90 per cent complete, with efforts now focused on restoring the highway to two-lane traffic.
The extensive work at the site has been ongoing for almost four years, since major slide activity in September 2017 closed the highway for several weeks and led to load restrictions on heavy vehicles.
The slide is located within Xaxli’p’s Fountain Indian Reserve, approximately 17 kilometres northeast of Lillooet. The stretch of highway has experienced slide activity for several decades, and stabilizing it has been difficult, given the complex geotechnical conditions at the site.
The stabilization work that has been completed includes installation of concrete and composite piles below the highway to support the roadbed and prevent further movement; soil anchors above the highway; and reconstruction of the highway to two lanes.
Construction is expected to be finished in late 2021, and will improve the long-term safety and reliability of the site, which is one of the most technically challenging roadways to maintain in the province. 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).
In December 2016, the Province committed $60 million for a long-term fix to stabilize the 10 Mile Slide. The total project budget is now $83.7 million, with the additional costs reflecting the complexity of the project. The Ministry of Transportation 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, and are encouraged to check www.drivebc.ca for travel information. Motorists are to obey traffic control persons’ direction and posted speed signs when travelling through the work area.