Jeff Labine, tbnewswatch.com
A portion of Highway 11/17 near Vibert Road was washed away.
The repairs to a section of Highway 11/17 near Vibert Road that leads into the community of Kakabeka Falls could take up to two weeks to repair.
A large portion of road collapsed following massive flooding. Construction crews began removing dirt and sections of concrete from the area leaving a large hole in the middle of the road.
Oliver-Paipoonge mayor Lucy Kloosterhuis said construction workers will have to wait until the water stops flowing before they can begin repairing it. She said the OPP expected the road to be up and running within two weeks.
With the main road leading into the Kakabeka Falls out of commission, Kloosterhuis said she was glad that it wasn’t tourist season.
“The road to Kakabeka is fine but that section is going to take a while to be repaired,” Kloosterhuis said.
“This isn’t going to be any help to the businesses. I know they said that from 11/17 from Shabaqua, Ont. to Vibert Road is going to be open today. Vibert Road is our responsibility and its repairs should be completely by next week.”
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Kloosterhuis said small vehicles would have to trouble traveling along Oliver Road to get to Kakabeka but she was interested to know what roads transport trucks would be taking. She guessed that the trucks could go down Oliver Road as well but added that stretch of road wasn’t designed for heavy trucks.
Most likely the trucks would go down Highway 102, she said.
OPP Const. Diana Cole said in her five years on the force it’s the biggest washout she’s witnessed so far. She said the road that received the most damage was the TransCanada Highway.
“We still have a number of road washouts in Conmee Township that are being repaired,” Cole said. “It’s open to local traffic only so if you are traveling westbound use Highway 102. Highway 11/17 from the Harbour Expressway to Highway 130 is open. I’m only aware of the highway conditions.”
The following roads are still closed:
• Highway 11/17 in Oliver-Paipoonge
• Highway 130 to Fraser Road
• Highway 590 west of Kakabeka Falls in Comnee closed to Highway 102
Cole wanted to remind everyone to stay away from the water as it is still moving quickly and the earth can move away at any time.
Conmee reeve Kevin Holland said the township is still in a state of emergency but they have opened the township roads to local traffic only and not to those traveling through. All roads remain closed to school bus until further notice, he said.
“It’s going to be a while before we’re back to normal,” Holland said. “We have to have structural testing done to our bridges by an engineering firm just to assess if there are any issues as a result of the increased water flow.”
He added residents could get more information on road conditions by visiting the township’s website.