Bay Street road improvement hits glitch

  • Mar. 26, 2008 10:00 a.m.

Roadwork on Bay Street in Queen Charlotte hit a glitch when a layer of oil was found in the soil. The work was being done to deal with drainage issues, says the Ministry of Transportation’s Randy Penner, in charge of operations for the district. He says the existing drainage was functioning, but the culvert ran directly under private residences and was difficult to maintain. The highways crew moved the culvert to a nearby right of way between the Pentecostal church and the Government Agent’s office. But during the excavation, workers found a layer of oil. The Ministry of the Environment was called, the contaminant was contained and soil samples taken, but the results haven’t come back, says Mr. Penner. In the meantime, the contaminated soil was removed and Highways is looking for a home for it. “We may be able to take it to the dump site,” said Mr. Penner, adding that the soil can be neutralized with enzymes there. Digging in the fall of 2006 for a water line in the same area turned up human remains. Mr. Penner said the workers had a Council of the Haida Nation archaeology monitor on site for the recent work for this reason. He says two more bone fragments were found, which were assumed to be connected with the previous find. The CHN allowed the workers to continue. The work was part of Highways commitment to deal with as much road work as possible in the two and a half years before Queen Charlotte Village takes over maintenance. “We don’t want to leave them a legacy of any issues they may be concerned about,” he said. He says other issues will be dealt with in the coming year, depending on budgets.

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