What You Need to Know about the Deep Creek Slide on West Fraser Road

UPDATE: West Fraser Road will be reopened at Deep Creek Hill beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday (May 8, 2015). The road is reduced to some single lane sections and we’ll continue to monitor slide activity. There will be signage alerting drivers to yield to oncoming traffic (no traffic control on site). If safety becomes a concern again, the alternate route (Garner and Webster Lake roads) will go back into effect with a closure, so please be prepared for that possibility.

If you live in the Quesnel area, you might be wondering why the West Fraser Road has been closed for so long. We have noticed some local traffic trying to use the road and wanted to let you know why this isn’t such a good idea.

March 21, 2015 - The beginning of the slump on West Fraser Road
March 21, 2015 – The beginning of the slump on West Fraser Road

On March 21, 2015 a “land stability” event closed West Fraser Road at Deep Creek Hill in both directions (approximately 20 km SW of Quesnel). Our geotechnical engineers were sent in to assess the site and after a thorough review it was determined that this site was still active, meaning that the earth movement happening here was still underway.

March 28, 2015 - The West Fraser Road slump progression shown one week after the beginning of the event
March 28, 2015 – The West Fraser Road slump progression shown one week after the beginning of the event

We currently have two different teams of geotechnical engineers monitoring and assessing the site. Aerial surveys of the land activity are underway and the results of these will be compared to determine if the activity is localized or part of a larger event.

A detour is in place at Garner Road. While we understand the inconvenience this closure causes to local traffic, our first concern is making sure that the area has stabilized and is safe for travel. Until we can confirm that this event is over, we are asking for public support in staying off of the road and use the detour. Learn more about what our geo-technical engineers look for when assessing landslides

Deep Creek April 10, 2015 - A wide screen glimpse at the movement two weeks into April.
Deep Creek April 10, 2015 – A wide screen glimpse at the movement two weeks into April.

Garner Road has been stabilized and graded to make the detour more comfortable for travellers during the West Fraser Road closure.

Garner Road Stabilized
The Garner Road detour route was stabilized in order to make the route more comfortable for traffic during the West Fraser Road closure

Page 1 of 17 comments on “What You Need to Know about the Deep Creek Slide on West Fraser Road”

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  1. This hill was never this bad until the culverts were put across the road . The water is totally saturating the subsoils on right side of the hill as you start up the hill.the culvert near the top of the hill has created a pond on the last switch back.the pond contains a lot of water this can not be helpful to a stable hill . I spoke will Mr Moores in regards to the pond ,and was told that it has always been there.I don’t think so Mr Moores, trees do not grow in water.The culvert up near the top of the hill is contributing to this pond as I have walked through the bush and can clearly see that a large portion of the out flow water from this culvert ends up in this pond .The pond base is sinking as well. If one has a real good look at it the water from this pond use to run to the right. There is a ravine in which the water went Down in the past.The culverts are a great idea .Why do we use a culvert ? We use a culvert to establish “control”.So once you have established control of the 80,000-100,000 gallons of water on this hill through the spring run off why ? Just aimlessly allow the water to run uncontrolled through the bush.Especially on the lower part of the hill which is the reason the trees are leaning over.1000 gallons of water culverted to the creek is gone in 15 minutes .1000 gallons pumped into the bush takes months to dissipate .There should be a clay lined ditch or culvert to the creek hitting rip rap to reduce erosion . But as for the road bed moving it has not moved since apr 7 when a geo tech service put a hub to measure movement .The road is not slipping. It has sunk because the saturation of the sub soils.Which the subsoils have been carried to the creek via water .Soil piping erosion .The centre line of the road has not moved.A single lane should be established .Enough already.Mr Moores the water you could hear running under the road ,it was in the culvert ! Once it hits the bush I don’t think you will hear it anymore .

    • Hi Dean,

      We spoke with the Operations Manager, who told us that our geotechnical engineers are reviewing options to see if de-watering at this location is possible. Regarding the Knickerbocker Slide – Blackwater Road, the slide extends from the Fraser River (approximately 300-400m from the Blackwater Road) to the above road. It is an extensive slide and too expensive to fix with current technology. Hope that this helps!

  2. This is so much crap. Your hill pictures misrepresent the actual situation. If you take a picture to supposedly show what is happening (NOT), then take the picture of exactly the same shot, not some wide angle picture of how bad you want the hill to appear. It has been a month since the road was closed, no accounting from anybody about a reopening if ever, and such a lovely detour around. Enough. And don’t bother to respond with some lip service garbage about what a wonderful job is being done. FIX THE NARCOSLI HILL ROAD.

    • Hi Diana,
      We are sorry to hear your frustration. We can certainly appreciate the inconvenience that this event is causing for local traffic but because the safety of the travelling public is our absolute top priority and because instability continues in this area, we must continue to monitor the event and as soon as the area has stabilized, we will fix and open the road.

    • If you look closely between photos one and two, they are taken from about the same location. The road is severely messed up in shot 2. picture 3 shows more widespread damage.

  3. I can understand the risk to people traveling over this slide area, but my sympathies go to those West Fraser residents being forced to commute over the Garner RD detour. That road is extremely rough with baseball sized gravel surfacing. Its very hard on vehicles and for anyone traveling it with less than a 1 ton truck represents an extra expensive hardship. I drove out there and couldn’t travel over 70 kph and then suffered a blowout. There used to be a ferry to provide a suitable alternative, but not now.

    • Hi Brian,

      Thanks for sharing your concerns with us here. We spoke with the project manager in the district office about your comment and were told that the ministry added base stabilization and graded Garner Road over the weekend (see additional photo added to blog above) in order to make this detour more comfortable for travellers during the closure. Hope that this helps. Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.

  4. Properly close the road so no traffic goes over it. SIMPLE. Anything less is not being diligent, and the province could be sued, wasting more taxpayers dollars.

    • Hello,

      The safety of the travelling public is always our first priority. This route is completely barricaded with chained concrete barriers and it will remain closed until the route is safe to travel.