Plastic-draped slope in Cowichan Bay getting safety build

Residents in Cowichan Bay are being treated to the sight of a large hill in the community completely covered in plastic.

Residents in Cowichan Bay are being treated to the sight of a large hill in the community completely covered in plastic.

The Ministry of Transportation has decided to try and stabilize a notoriously unstable slope on Cowichan Bay Road, right across from Hecate Park, before the rains of the West Coast winter set in.

Work crews from the Coquitlam-based Kan-Arm Contracting Ltd. have placed a plastic cover over the slope to protect it from the elements while workers are currently drilling in anchors to pin down wire mesh.

The work is part of the Ministry’s long-term plan to stabilize the slope and ensure continued safe access for the travelling public along Cowichan Bay Road.

A ministry statement said a grass-seed mix will then be applied in two stages to revegetate the slope and help hold the soil in place.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of November, depending on the weather.

Lori Iannidinardo, the director for the area on the Cowichan Valley Regional District, said soil and trees falling from the slope and blocking traffic on Cowichan Bay Road has been a problem since development of the area began many years ago.

“The draining of the water through the clay on the slope is the issue, and we’re happy that the ministry is doing something about it,” she said.

“We had hoped that the workers wouldn’t just put up a concrete wall and would try to bio-engineer a solution in a green way, and that is what they are apparently doing.”

As for the houses situated on top of the slope, Iannidinardo said they are not in any imminent danger of falling down the slope.

“They look to be a lot closer to the edge than they really are,” she said.