Structural damage caused by a snowplow to the Kispiox Valley bridge has residents cut off indefinitely and awaiting a detour that could take a week to open and take them 233 kilometres out of their way just to get to Hazelton. (Facebook photo)

Structural damage caused by a snowplow to the Kispiox Valley bridge has residents cut off indefinitely and awaiting a detour that could take a week to open and take them 233 kilometres out of their way just to get to Hazelton. (Facebook photo)

Damaged bridge cuts off Kispiox residents

It could be a week before a 233 kilometre detour is available, bridge closed indefinitely

The Kispiox Valley Road bridge is currently closed until further notice.

On Feb. 4, at approximately 8:00 a.m. the bridge was seriously damaged by a snowplow.

The bridge was immediately closed to all traffic for assessment of the damage. Since then, it has been opened for foot traffic only.

“An initial assessment shows that there is structural damage to the Kispiox Bridge following an MVI this morning,” wrote Dawson Road Maintenance (DRM) in a notice on Facebook. “We are currently waiting for Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s engineers to arrive on scene to further assess the damage. DRM is partnering with MoTI and the Forests Ministry to consider the use of a suitable alternate route as a detour.”

No detour is currently available creating a good deal of inconvenience and possibly danger for residents of the Kispiox Valley who work, shop and access services, including medical services, in the Hazeltons and beyond.

MORE NEWS: Quick thinking Hazelton’s couple thwarts scam

Meanwhile, emergency provisions have been put in place.

“BC Ambulance is ready in terms of any medical emergency and will dispatch the helicopter with medical team , if someone calls 911,” said the Kispiox Band council in a notice to the community. “The landing point is the Kispiox village ball field and it is ready for accepting a helicopter. A dedicated vehicle will transport the medical team to the house with the patient.”

Dawson confirmed this morning they have begun clearing the one possible detour, a logging road known as “the mitten.” It could take up to a week.

Not everyone is happy about that solution.

MORE NEWS: Dog shot and killed in New Hazelton

Shannon McPhail, who lives on the Hazelton side of the bridge, but has family on the other side, said the road is not really a viable option.

The 42-km, single lane, dirt road is only marginally passable in the summer, much less the winter, she said, and will require a pilot car for safety to escort motorists one way at a time.

“Which means you could be waiting one to two hours before you can use it,” McPhail said. “Its 58 km up the Kispiox, the 42 km over the mitten to Hwy 37 and 70 km from there to Kitwanga and 65 km to Hazelton. That’s a 233 km detour one way. Half that distance is logging roads or dirt roads.”

She suggested the sensible thing to do would be to put in a temporary bridge.

In another case, The Interior News has been told, a deceased Kispiox Village elder’s body, which was supposed to be transported home today, will now be carried across the bridge on foot.



editor@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Chris Paulson of Burns Lake took a quick selfie with a lynx over the weekend of Feb. 20-22, 2021, after the wild cat was found eating some of his chickens. (Chris Paulson/Facebook)
VIDEO: Burns Lake man grabs lynx by scruff after chickens attacked

‘Let’s see the damage you did, buddy,’ Chris Paulson says to the wild cat

Fisheries and Oceans Canada released it's 2021 Pacific Herring Integrated Fisheries Management Plan Feb. 19. (File photo)
Northern herring opportunities kept to a minimum

2021 management plan caps Prince Rupert fishery at 5 per cent

A collaborative genomic research project is underway to map the movements of 118 Northwest sockeye populations to better inform management decisions on at-risk stocks. (File photo)
Genomic study tracks 118 Northwest B.C. sockeye populations

Development of new tool will be used to help harvesters target healthy groups

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Most Read