NORTH ISLAND GAZETTE FILE PHOTO                                The site of the Beach Drive 2016 landslide.

NORTH ISLAND GAZETTE FILE PHOTO The site of the Beach Drive 2016 landslide.

Beach Drive landslide update: Geotech firm hired to provide engineering services

Port McNeill has a history of landslides, due to the steep embankment above Beach Drive.

The Town of Port McNeill has been actively seeking solutions to the slides and slide hazards along Beach Drive.

“We made a commitment to the community to address the problem and we intend to do that,” said Mayor Shirley Ackland.

Mayor and council recently sent out a press release stating the town is continuing to move forward on rectifying the hazard along the escarpment above Beach Drive.

The town has recently entered into an agreement with a geotech firm from Nanaimo, WSP/Levelton Consultants Ltd.(“WSP”), to provide engineering services, stated the release.

Ackland and Councillor Shelley Downey recently met with a WSP representative, and the representative advised WSP would prepare a report on what should be the initial steps to solve the Beach Drive Slide issue.

The report is anticipated to be released within the next two weeks.

The release also states that the “WSP representative also indicated that additional engineering services would be required due to the complexities of the issue, which includes consideration of slope grade; debris load, and access points to the edge of the escarpment.”

The town will make additional information available to the public when it is received. Any questions or concerns, please contact the Town of Port McNeill at 250-956-3111.

Port McNeill has a history of landslides due to the steep embankment above Beach Drive. Here are a few of the more significant landslides described in past reports:

• October 1981: several small slides were reported plus one larger slide that ran out beyond the road near 2238 Beach Drive;

• Oct. 8, 1992: five failures noted including one that ran out across the road between 2388 and 2400 Beach Drive;

• Feb. 11, 1999: a slide ran out across the road onto the property at 2146 Beach Drive;

• Nov. 16 2002: a slide ran out across the road and onto the property at 2168 Beach Drive. This slide is immediately east of the 1999 slide;

• April 8, 2003: a small slide occurred opposite 2226 Beach Drive, close to the October 1981 slide but did not reportedly cross the road;

• March 29, 2015: a slide occurred opposite 2298 Beach Drive, below a culvert outlet. The slide reached the road and moved some of the barriers, but was mostly contained;

• Feb. 5, 2016: a small slide is reported by the town, but no location given; and

• Nov. 9, 2016: a few small slides plus one larger slide that crossed the road and damaged the house at 2324 Beach Drive.

This slide was very close to the March 2015 slide.