CN underpass poses safety risk: McBride Council

by LAURA KEIL

Anyone who has driven on a washed-out logging road may know what it’s like to drive under the CN underpass in McBride.

The underpass, which allows access to the bulk of Sansom Road, is frequently rutted and pot-holed.

Village CAO Kelley Williams says CN is responsible for the road condition at that location. Despite CN adding fill, grading and levelling in the past, the road surface remains poor.

Counc. Ralph Bezanson says he has heard complaints from local drivers. He adds the gravel fill has now decreased the clearance height to the tracks above.

Counc. Rick Thompson says there are all kinds of legal issues that need to be addressed as far as the maintenance and upkeep of the underpass.

“It’s a bigger problem than we see on the surface. The walls are sloughing off. It’s becoming a bigger disaster daily,” Thompson said.

Williams says she, Counc. Bezanson and the Public Works lead met with CN’s head engineer and two of his juniors for a three hour meeting.

“They are absolutely aware of the danger,” she says. “They know that it’s sloughing.”

She says she tried to follow-up with CN and Counc. Bezanson has helped.

“They are not returning phone calls and they are not returning letters,” Williams said during the March 22nd Council meeting.

CN spokesperson Kate Fenske says CN does perform maintenance at that location.

“We are in discussion with the Village of McBride about long term maintenance of the road,” she said in an email to the Goat.

Council made a motion that administration write a letter to CN stressing concerns about the safety of the underpass.

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