The landslide

The landslide

Meadows in the Sky remains closed as Parks Canada awaits engineers report

The Meadows in the Sky Parkway remains closed beyond the 15-kilometre mark almost two weeks after a landslide compromised road stability near Bridge Creek.

A stretch of the Meadows in the Sky Parkway will be re-aligned by 1.3 metres into Mount Revelstoke in order to stabilize a stretch of the roadway that was compromised by a landslide.

“We have decided that the road will need to be re-aligned, or moved over, by about four feet, away from the failed area, and then a support structure put in place,” Parks Canada spokesperson told the Times Review in an e-mail Thursday afternoon.

The parkway remains closed beyond the 15-kilometre mark almost two weeks after a landslide compromised road stability near Bridge Creek, at kilometre 15.5 of the road. The landslide occurred down slope of the road along an unnamed creek that passes through a culvert below the road. Pictures provided by Parks Canada show the slide washed away a swath of land below the road, including a chunk of the shoulder, but the roadway itself remains intact.

Work such as clearing brush in the area surrounding the landslide began on July 5, said Daniluck. What remains to be figured out is how the road will be supported. She said several options were being looked at, including building a rock wall, driving support posts into the ground with heavy machinery, or installing a gabion wall along the parkway.

Daniluck said the latter option, which involves building a support wall by filling large cylinders with soil or sand, was being seriously considered but Parks Canada was awaiting an engineers report on slope stability to arrive before proceeding further. The report is due next week.

“They’re looking at that 200 metres that’s been impacted so re-alignments would be small,” she said in an interview. “They just have to fix it and realign it to make it safe.”

The parkway is currently open to vehicles until the Internment Camp lookout at kilometre 14. Cyclists and pedestrians can continue to kilometre 15; the landslide is at kilometre 15.5.

Daniluck said Parks Canada did not know how long the closure would be in effect and the engineering report needed to be completed before setting a timeline for repair work.

“That’s the big question and that’s the big question that we want to answer,” she said. “The engineer’s report is not done, they still need to finish it.”

The landslide is visible from Arrow Heights and Johnson Heights and can be seen stretching more than 100 metres down the mountain side.

Currently the snow line sits at the 20-kilometre mark of the parkway, between 1,500 and 1,700 metres in elevation. The summit area sits under more than a metre of snow, Daniluck said.

“It’s still snowbound so there’s nothing to see up there anyway,” she said.

Hikers are allowed up the summit trail, which crosses the parkway at kilometre 14.5.

The Meadows in the Sky Parkway is a major tourism draw in Revelstoke in the summer. According to Parks Canada, about 35,000 people visit the summit area each year in the short period during which it’s open.