Rain on the Thanksgiving weekend made a mess of the grading done on Chemainus Road in preparation for paving. (Photo courtesy of Jade Blakney)

Rain on the Thanksgiving weekend made a mess of the grading done on Chemainus Road in preparation for paving. (Photo courtesy of Jade Blakney)

Chemainus Road back on the mend after long weekend rains

Pothole repairs required as construction work takes a beating from the elements

Construction work on the Chemainus Road Corridor Upgrade Project was progressing nicely heading into the Thanksgiving weekend. The road surface had been smoothed out and prepared for paving.

But Mother Nature intervened on the long weekend and downpours of rain turned the road into a mess. Crews from Milestone Equipment Contracting Inc. had to repair the damage twice over the long weekend just to make the road passable.

“We’re in repair mode now,” said John Dehoop, manager of infrastructure for the Municipality of North Cowichan. “We were at about 90 per cent ready to pave by Friday last week.”

Dehoop had been at the project site Friday as the rain picked up. “By the time I left I had to pull over and make a call,” he said.

Dehoop contacted Milestone about the need to fix potholes and do some regrading at the earliest possible time. It got worse on Sunday, resulting in further pothole repair and regrading that continued into the week.

The plan now is to pave in smaller sections just to get some done in case there’s another weather event.

The Municipality and Milestone have been watching the forecast closely to see what this week will bring.

“You never want to open up the road like that knowing there was severe weather in the forecast,” Dehoop noted.

The road was fixed up Tuesday morning once more “just to get it in the shape so it was driveable again,” Dehoop said.

He conceded it’s always dicey this time of the year with construction projects because of the weather, but COVID-19 already set back the Chemainus Road project four to six weeks.

Grading was being done from Henry Road to River Road Wednesday. Grading will now be done simultaneously with the paving of sections. Some paving will definitely be done Thursday and hopefully Friday as well if the weather cooperates.

One complicated aspect of the project is the River Road roundabout. Normally, roundabouts would be closed down for a week or two but that can’t be done here because of detour limitations.

“I don’t think sending people to Ladysmith is a good option,” Dehoop conceded.

Severe rain storms definitely set projects back, he added, and there’s no way to fix a damaged roadway immediately.

“We can’t actually fill potholes when it’s raining,” Dehoop explained. “It literally lasts 10 minutes. You have to physically wait till the rain stops to fix the potholes.

“We want people to continue to be patient. It’s going to be nice when it’s done. When it’s raining, they need to proceed through there very cautiously.”

Copcan Civil Ltd. worked on the infrastructure of the project before Milestone won the bid for the current construction phase.

Related: Underground utility work completed on Chemainus Road Corridor Project

“Copcan and Milestone are the best two contractors I’ve ever had to work with,” praised Dehoop. “They’re fantastic and so good with the community.”


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


Chemainus Road was looking like this before the rains came on the long weekend. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus Road was looking like this before the rains came on the long weekend. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

Doug Routley of the NDP is relaxed after learning he’d won a fifth term as MLA. (Photo submitted)
NDP dominance continues in Nanaimo-North Cowichan with Routley’s reelection

Runner-up Istace enthused about the rise of the Greens in the riding and the province

Municipality of North Cowichan.
Public engagement demonstrates lingering concerns over emissions reduction targets

Chemainus grads’ 2020 prom venue restricted to four events next year

Doug Routley has retained his seat as Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA. (Photo submitted)
Routley retains his post as Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA

NDP stronghold in the riding continues despite a strong challenge from the Greens’ Istace

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Harvesters participating in the extended commercial halibut season will need to land their catch in either Prince Rupert (pictured), Vancouver, or Port Hardy by Dec. 14. (File photo)
B.C.’s commercial halibut season extended three weeks

COVID-19 market disruptions at the root of DFO’s decision

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

A heavy police presence was spotted in Lumby, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Facebook)
Police situation leads to ‘hold and secure’ at North Okanagan school

Police call for social media blackout in ongoing incident

École de l’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 outbreak forces closure of Kelowna school

The outbreak is the first within B.C.’s school system since classes resumed back in September

Most Read