Friday, August 01, 2008

The Rocky Road to 2010

Tuesday night's massive rockslide near Porteau Cove is a timely reminder of the endless problems associated with British Columbia's "Sea to Sky" highway, the road that will serve as the transport artery for the 2010 Olympic games in Whistler.

Scratch a roadway and rail bed out of the side of a mountain and you can expect problems like this. And they're nothing new either. This is one treacherous stretch of highway and it's been that way since it was built. The main culprits have been falling rocks and washouts. Add to that the inevitable mix of drunk, reckless or incompetent motorists and you've got endless fodder for the local papers.

The BC government, "Liberal" in name only, has been busy choking off essential services (closing hospital beds, etc.) while ponying up $600-million (critics claim it'll be more than $800-million) for improvements to the Olympic roadway. Now this.

It's not that the rockslide created an insurmountable problem. The whole thing is expected to be cleared within five days. The problem is that this slide has put the provincial government behind an 8-ball. Now it has to survey the entire route, searching for and fixing potential flaws. That could become an enormous expense that would swell the already engorged Sea to Sky budget.

Oh dear. You can almost hear those hospital doors slamming shut.


Larry Gambone said...

What better example of karma?

Anonymous said...

South Korea is a very mountainous country. They build tunnels through their mountains so as to avoid problems and also not to distrub the environment. The longest tunnel is five kilometres long. The amount of money that has been forked over from the tax payers pocket regarding the afore mentioned highway, could have built tunnels from Canada to enturnity. A. Morris