Industrial trucks tracking dust and mud into Youbou has been an increasing problem for many years. (Gazette file)

Industrial trucks tracking dust and mud into Youbou has been an increasing problem for many years. (Gazette file)

New logging bypass road considered for Youbou

TimberWest and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to hold town hall meeting

Residents of Youbou and the surrounding region are invited to a town hall meeting with TimberWest and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on Aug. 28 about plans to construct a bypass route around Youbou Road for logging trucks.

Klaus Kuhn, the director for Youbou with the Cowichan Valley Regional District, said TimberWest, which runs a number of logging operations near Youbou, is considering building a bypass road for logging trucks in an effort to deal with ongoing dust problems on Youbou Road.

He said the dust problem from logging trucks along Youbou Road has been an issue since the community’s sawmill closed in 2001.

Kuhn said that, before the closure of the mill, most of the wood logged in the area would be processed there, but now the raw logs have to go on public roads on trucks right from the logging sites on the way to be processed, and the trucks bring lots of dust and mud from the sites with them.

“This problem has been known for years and there were some discussions some time ago about building a bypass road, but it was considered too expensive,” Kuhn said.

“But there has been an increase in truck traffic and the dust problem has become so much worse, so these discussions have begun again. A truck wash was installed to wash the trucks before they hit the public roads about four years ago, but it isn’t proving effective.”

Kuhn said TimberWest has already completed some geo-technical work to determine if a bypass road is feasible, but the idea is still in its preliminary stages.

He said that if TimberWest agrees to build the bypass road, it would still take up to five years to complete.

“We’d like as many people to turn out to the town hall meeting as possible to listen to the plans and be part of the discussion,” Kuhn said. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at Youbou Hall.