A Jordan River resident says temporary repairs to a sinkhole that emerged on Highway 14 after November’s historic floods aren’t enough and are a danger to people using the road.
Emcon, the company contracted by the province to offer emergency highway repair services, filled the sinkhole with gravel on Nov. 16, allowing Highway 14 to reopen. The sinkhole forced the road’s closure after the area was flooded by water on Nov. 15.
But Elizabeth Kulczycki, a Jordan River resident, is worried the temporary fix is unstable and dangerous. Kulczycki said she had to use a narrow road shoulder to drive past the sinkhole when it first opened up in November.
“When you see asphalt breaking into a hole in the road, it’s terrifying,” she said.
According to a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure spokesperson, temporary repairs have been completed, “allowing the road to remain open for area residents and other travellers.” Permanent repairs are scheduled to be done by next summer.
The spokesperson added that Emcon is working on prioritizing the list of sites on the South Island that were impacted during the storm event and that repairs for the November rain and flooding events are still being determined.
“This is expected to take a considerable amount of time given the magnitude of the damage across the province,” they added.
But Kulczycki said waiting until then for a permanent fix is “outrageous,” and she’s worried the community could be cut off from food, fuel and emergency services.
“Moving into a rural area shouldn’t mean you have to give up accessibility and safety,” she said.
“At this point, the ministry has not received any reports of issues with the repairs of the Jordan River sinkhole,” a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure spokesperson said. “The ministry’s maintenance contractor, Emcon, is monitoring the site of the sinkhole daily to ensure the road remains open and safe for residents and other travellers.”
Jordan River isn’t the only community waiting on repairs from Emcon. Port Renfrew, where rainfall levels reached biblical levels this past month, saw flooding damage in several areas. Repairs had already started on the damage sustained to Island Road, with work set to be completed by the end of the week. Crews will also begin repairs next week on the failed culvert on Parkinson Road.