Heffley Creek bridge awaits permit

Old Highway 5 has been closed since spring of 2017 and won’t likely reopen until 2018. | Photo SPIN.

Construction of a new bridge in Heffley Creek has been halted as the project waits for an additional permit approval as it’s been identified as having a high potential for First Nations artifacts. The Section 14 provincial permit falls under the Heritage Conservation Act and will allow for a heritage inspection or investigation of the site. The construction is the result of heavy flooding in May 2017 that washed away a section of road along Old Highway 5.

City of Kamloops capital project manager Darren Crundwell said an Archaeological Overview Assessment identified the area’s historical potential.  The project will have testing and monitoring once the permit has been granted.

“We’re working closely with Tk’emlups to make sure the project is successful with respect to cultural resources, but nothing has been found. We have not been doing any active digs for archeology. We’ll do some testing when we start up as soon as we receive the section 14 permit,” said Crundwell.

While crews await approval to work on the site located near the Heffley Creek Store along Old Highway 5 the bridge design is being finalized.

Crundwell said they’ve made changes to the wall system and explained the bridge will be supported by retaining walls abutments.

“When we start up again in the new year we’re going to be prepared to get hopefully quite a bit of progress and quite a bit of work done,” said Crundwell.

Despite losing three to four weeks to the permit application Crundwell remained optimistic the project will be completed within their timeline.

“We were always communicating spring, ideally we would have wanted to take advantage of the milder weather. We didn’t expect it to be as mild as it was. When we look at a project like this and we’re doing it through the winter we’re conservative with our timelines we think we’ll still be able to get it open by spring,” said Crundwell.

Construction of the bridge is expected to resume early 2018.

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