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Rock slide area being assessed

The approximately 100 cubic metres of rock here fell the night of Jan. 21 with at least one boulder blocking the eastbound lane of Hwy 16, about 15 km west of Terrace. - MARGARET SPEIRS
The approximately 100 cubic metres of rock here fell the night of Jan. 21 with at least one boulder blocking the eastbound lane of Hwy 16, about 15 km west of Terrace.
— image credit: MARGARET SPEIRS

Motorists travelling west on Hwy 16 will remain limited to single lane alternating traffic about 15 km west of the city for at least another day.

One lane was closed to traffic after a rock slide crashed down with a large boulder blocking the eastbound lane at the Shames outcrop late in the evening of Jan. 21.

Highway maintenance crews were out clearing the lane but until the stability of the rock cliff is determined and the debris cleared out of the ditch, only one lane will be open.

The largest boulder of the approximately 100 cubic metres of rock that fell is two metres across and likely weighs more than a pickup, said Golder and Associates geotechnical engineer Eric Constantinescu, who was assessing the cliffside Jan. 22.

He was going to see if he could figure out what caused the rock slide and whether any more would come down so it could be made safe before crews go to work clearing the rock out the ditch.

That included him climbing up to the top of the cliffside and looking down on the slide site to further assess it.

Once he is sure it is safe, crews will clear out the ditch, which did its job in catching the rock and needs to be cleared to do the same if another rock slide comes down in future.

Flaggers will remain to direct traffic around the debris for another day and crews will likely start clearing out the ditch Jan. 23.

Updates on the area will be posted on DriveBC.

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