Work has started on the egress route on Access #12 on the offshore side of Green Lake South Road.
When completed, the four-metre wide egress road will provide an escape route for residents evacuating during an emergency incident.
Last month, a feller buncher and two mechanical harvesters were removing trees to widen Access #12 for about 200 to 300 metres before turning left to cut a road to B.C. Timber Sales (BCTS) block R321, which was harvested a few years ago. This part of the egress route covers just over a kilometre.
The egress route will go about 1.8 kilometres through the BCTS block, so the fence will have to be cut and a cattle guard installed.
If there is another wet spring this year, the contractor will have to wait for drier conditions — perhaps in the summer — to build the sub-grade and put on the gravel capping.
The egress route will tie into the Green Lake Jim Lake Road, where evacuees can turn left for about five kilometres to hook up with North Green Road and then turn on to the paved Watch Lake Road.
Alternatively, they could turn right for about five kilometres and drive to the North Bonaparte Road. This route will have a steep decline, so drivers of big rigs will have to keep that in mind. The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Development & Rural Development will maintain the egress route.
During emergency situations, emergency personnel – Wildfire Service workers, Conservation Officers or RCMP – will be at this junction to inform evacuees which is the best route to take from that junction.
There will be signage at every junction of the egress routes — giving the direction to travel and the number of kilometres to the main roads.
It is suggested that people check both routes, so they know what to expect if they have to evacuate in an emergency.
There will be pullouts, so drivers of bigger rigs can pull over to let drivers behind them pass.
The egress road is not intended to be wide enough for two-way traffic, as it is only intended for people to get out during an emergency incident.
At this time, there won’t be any gates on the egress route. It is thought that restricting access is a problem because gates need keys and keys can get lost or go missing.
It is thought that in a recreational community, such as South Green Lake, full-time residents will keep an eye on who is using the egress route and what it is being used for.
Regarding the Phase 2 logging portion of the project, tender bids are expected to go out to fibre companies this spring.