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Highway 5 repairs continue

Highway workers are working hard to get Hwy 5 ready for traffic.
Hwy. 5 is slowly appearing above the waves as crews from the Ministry of Highways rebuild the road. On July 15 (at right), crews were hauling dirt and packing it in preparation for traffic to resume. And on July 19, they were bringing in more dirt and placing it on top of a fabric barrier. The road is tentatively scheduled to be open later this week.

Highway workers are working hard to get Hwy 5 ready for traffic.A section of the highway, approximately seven kilometers west of Humboldt, has been closed since July 2 as water levels in the slough that borders the road rose high enough to cover the pavement.The water level in that area had been rising since this spring because of the record rainfall in the area this year.In June, the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure (MHI) installed rip rap to stop the erosion of the highway and sandbags along the sides to try to prevent the highway from flooding. Then the water level rose to about a foot deep on the highway, and the MHI had to come up with a new plan.The plan has both short term and long term solutions.Work on the short term solution started on July 9, when highway workers started hauling in gravel and clay to raise the surface of the highway above the water level."Our goal is to have the highway open as soon as we can," said Doug Wakabayashi, MHI representative. So far they are on schedule.

"It's going a little slow this week because of the rain, (but) we're still on track to have it done and open to traffic next week," said Wakabayashi during an interview on July 15. They do not have a exact date for when the highway will re-open this week."We don't have a firm time. A lot of it depends on how it goes over the weekend," said Wakabayashi.The highway will not be paved until after the long term fix is completed.The short term fix will have "a seal coat on it. It will be a mud-free, dust-free surface," said Wakabayashi.The long term fix, which will see workers restoring the proper shape to the highway, widening the surface of the road and paving, will not be completed until the fall.

For additional photos, see photo galleries.

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