Drivers on Vancouver Island’s Highway 19 will have to deal with a significant detour until construction can be completed to repair a sinkhole in the roadway.
On Monday, August 21st, the stretch of highway between Port McNeill and Woss was closed so workers can begin their round-the-clock maintenance in that corridor.
Beneath the roadway in that stretch lies a culvert designed to allow the passage of water beneath the highway. This culvert requires replacement at the Reload Railway South Overpass, situated approximately 21 kilometers to the north of Woss.
Crews will dig down nine metres to replace the culvert then backfill and shift their attention to repairing a significant sinkhole which was caused by the failed culvert.
The closure, which is required, will shut down the highway in both directions for several weeks.
The full-time detour set in place is an additional 2.5 kilometres along rural forestry roads that run parallel to Highway 19 and will be able to accommodate all traffic, including oversize vehicles.
The province says delays are to be expected.
BC says this work is expected to be finished in mid-September but work can only commence when no rainfall is present. So depending on the weather, workers may finish earlier or later than expected.