Otter Point drainage problems come to light

Sooke resident says a 1.5-kilometre stretch of Otter Point Road from Loronde Road to the district boundary is “a mess.”

  • Tue Apr 12th, 2016 6:00pm
  • News

Gordon Stewart is frustrated by the District of Sooke’s foot-dragging on the lack of maintenance on Otter Point Road.

Stewart said a 1.5-kilometre stretch of Otter Point Road from Loronde Road to the district boundary is “a mess.”

“The shoulders and ditches haven’t been cleaned since I don’t know how many years,” he said.

When Stewart returned to Sooke three years ago after living in northern B.C. for several years, he contacted both the district and Mainroad South Island Contracting on the condition of the road. He also said he’s written to the mayor, the municipality and newspapers.

A district official said they have had no service request for that section of Otter Point Road.

“The grass and the moss and the crap has built up so high on the shoulders that the water won’t run off the road. The road is falling apart,” said Stewart, a retired heavy equipment operator.

“Everybody who lives up here is saying the same thing.”

The district is about to embark on a comprehensive drainage, clean up program.

Last month, development services director Rob Howat requested $300,000 a year for the next five years to rectify the problem.

The problem compounded earlier this year when the district replaced culverts when they collapsed due to years of deterioration. Regular maintenance was not carried due to other budget pressures, Howat said.

The drainage remediation program will start this year with high priority areas, including Sooke River Road, Eakin Drive and Atherley Close.

Otter Point Road is not considered high priority, but Howat said now that the district is aware of the problem, it will be put on a list and prioritized.

“We are now in the process of prioritizing upgrades and will, at first, target areas where flooding is capable of doing property damage,” he said.

The lack of maintenance is causing other problems too, Stewart said, such as no room for pedestrians to walk along the side of the road, due to vegetation growth.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen. It’s stupid. It’s ridiculous,” he said.