Peace Arch News

Washout closes 8 Avenue for days

Crews work to repair 8 Avenue, after the road
Crews work to repair 8 Avenue, after the road's shoulder washed out in the 19500-block early Wednesday.
— image credit: Nick Greenizan photo

Eight blocks of South Surrey's 8 Avenue – between 192 and 200 Streets – are expected to remain closed through at least Friday, as crews work to repair damage triggered by Tuesday's heavy rains.

"It's a pretty major job," Jeff Welch, the City of Surrey's south-end roads and drainage manager.

"We're going down basically 30 feet and having to build the road up 30 feet, so there's lots of gravel, there's lots of riprap, lots of stabilization that has to be done to make sure the road doesn't slip away."

Crews have been working since early Wednesday, after a portion of the shoulder on the road's south side washed out in the 19500-block of 8 Avenue around 5:30 a.m.

Welch said water running down the driveway of an abandoned lot just east of the affected area carried gravel that blocked the catch-basin.

"So the water had to bypass the catch-basin, and it found it's easiest route down the hill," he said.

"Unfortunately, that easiest route meant it wiped out the whole shoulder of the road."

To repair the damage, crews have had to remove a section of the roadway itself in order to access the problem area. They have to build up "the toe" of the bank so it won't wash out further, then rebuild the road, Welch said.

The washout was the only one in Surrey, and Welch said it would have been impossible to predict.

While it likely wouldn't have caused drivers any grief if they had been on the road at the time, Welch said the washout would certainly have caught their attention.

"It would have scared them because it was really close to the road edge," he said.

The repairs "will be costly," he said.

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