Section of Huckleberry Road in need of flood damage repairs. Photo: Contributed

Huckleberry Road repair delays frustrating

Extended detour fire escape route a concern

Huckleberry Road residents in Joe Rich will have to wait a little longer to see repairs done to their road caused by flooding in May.

About 20 property owners are forced to take a detour route to reach their homes on the north end of Hucklberry, adding another three to four kilometres to their travels via Goudie Road, and have grown frustrated by the ongoing inconvenience, says area resident Pat Karslake.

Related: Cardinal Creek rushes towards Highway 33

“We keep getting promises the road repairs will start soon but then nothing happens,” Karslake said.

“We don’t know what is going on and nobody can give us a straight answer.”

Karslake said she has been led to believe part of the problem is a creek that runs under Huckleberry Road, that the delays are because the creek is of a fish-habitat environmental impact concern.

“I have lived here for 26 years and no one has ever before told me that is a fish bearing creek. It practically runs dry at some points during the summer,” she said.

Related: Working overtime for flooding road repairs

But contacted by the Capital News, a ministry of highways official emailed a response, indicating the 10-metre wide road washout has been delayed for a couple of reasons.

One is a lessening of the creek water flow before design option repairs could be investigated and developed.

The second was the design for a new two-metre wide culvert to be installed under the road, which due to the size requirement was not readily available and had to be specially fabricated.

That culvert is due to be delivered to the ministry this week. “Our maintenance contractor has a crew ready to install the culvert as soon as it arrives, so we anticipate that repairs will be completed by the end of August,” said the ministry email response.

For Karslake, the sooner the better as beyond the inconvenience, she also raises about concerns if forest fire breaks out in their area and farm animals have to be quickly evacuated.

“You need to move fast. We have been lucky so far with fires but you never know,” she said. “But it’s a concern for all of us who live out here with the lightning and the other fires already going on.”

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