Already busy View Royal roads could get even busier, with the added traffic of trucks hauling sediments from the Esquimalt Graving Dock remediation project.
The agencies behind the project, including the federal ministry of public works and government services, are asking the Town of View Royal for its blessing to use the Island Highway as a route to truck dredged material from the dock to Highwest Landfill in Highlands.
The Craigflower Bridge replacement cut off the most obvious route to the Trans-Canada Highway. Materials were scheduled to start being trucked June 17.
Council members had concerns over wear and tear to the road, which was not designed for large-scale use by heavy trucks.
The expectation is for eight to 10 trucks to make the trip per hour.
“We’re talking 20,000 truck loads during this project, on a road that was never meant to be a truck route,” said John Rosenberg, director of engineering.
Rosenberg said he hopes for a road condition survey and possible mitigation if roads are affected.
The town may not have the authority to stop the trucking, but councillors did talk about enforcing a bylaw recently ignored for the Craigflower Bridge project, which disallows using the road as a truck route. There was also talk of imposing a legal axel-load limit to restrict load sizes.
Benefits include work being done on reserve lands as a part of the project.
“It would have been so much better had we been doing this at a time when we had a Craigflower bridge,” said Mayor Graham Hill. “It’s a huge, huge impact.”
“I’m not sure what the answer is but I don’t see how we can be amenable to something like that,” said Coun. David Screech. “That is going to have such a huge impact on our residents and commuter traffic. It’s just going to be a gong show.”
Council asked staff to meet with the ministry and proponents to discuss the impact to View Royal with more specific details, and come back to council with the results.
The trucks are not expected to release any contaminants en route, but Screech asked for assurances this is accurate.