OTHELLO, B.C. — Crews will soon begin permanent repairs to the Othello section of the Coquihalla Highway 5.
The project will rebuild the highway to a more resilient standard following significant damage from the November 2021 storms.
“This marks another milestone in our recovery from the atmospheric river events that severely damaged our highway infrastructure last fall,” said Rob Fleming, minister of transportation and infrastructure, in a statement. “We’re working quickly to build permanent infrastructure back at a better, more climate-resilient standard that will protect the movement of people and goods through our province. I am pleased that this contract is a joint venture that includes the Chawathil First Nation.”
Emil Anderson and the Chawathil First Nation were awarded the $4.6-million contract for this section of the Coquihalla, about three kilometres north of the junction of Highways 3 and 5.
“Having recently completed the flood-response work on this portion of Highway 5, Emil Anderson Construction is honoured to be selected to complete the final recovery work to restore four lanes of traffic on this section of Highway 5,” said Robert Hasell, president and CEO of Emil Anderson Construction. “This project is a great example of the province, industry and local First Nations working together collaboratively to drive critical infrastructure projects.”
Construction is expected to begin in early August and be complete this fall. Crews will reinstate approximately 460 metres of the southbound lanes that were washed out, as well as:
- replace and upsize culverts to accommodate future extreme weather events related to climate change;
- shoulder widening and barrier placement; and
- reinstating the roadside barrier and spillways.
“We are proud to be a part of this project with Emil Anderson,” said Chief Rhoda Peters of the Chawathil First Nation. “To participate in work that is developed within our traditional territory shows we are moving ahead with business for Chawathil. So many highways, railways, pipelines and hydro lines cut through our lands without agreements with our leaders. Today, our Nation is able to sit at the table and work together as the future unfolds at a fast pace before us. We are grateful for all the hard work put forth by our economic development co-ordinator, Monica Florence, as she put in a lot of work and effort to help us track this milestone. Siam’lomet.”