Bridge at Falls Creek in Fraser Canyon fully open with new name

New three-lane bridge at Falls Creek (Jackass Mountain) now fully open to traffic, 31 months after flood damage

Nearly three years after the atmospheric river of November 2021 slammed the Southern Interior, work on a key bridge on Highway 1 in the Fraser Canyon has been completed, and the bridge has an Indigenous name that celebrates neighbouring communities.

The new three-lane bridge at Falls Creek (Jackass Mountain) was officially given the name CèX ʷ Cixʷ (pronounced Check-Chow) on June 13. The bridge is 20 kilometres south of Lytton, and replaces a culvert that was washed out during the 2021 flood.

The naming of the new bridge involved local communities, including Kanaka Bar and Boothroyd, with support from the Nlaka’pamux Nation. The Kanaka Bar band said that the name was the original name that ancestors (Elders) called the area from long ago.

A news release from the province stated that the renaming “underscores the province's commitment to build safe, resilient infrastructure while honouring the cultural significance of the land to First Nation and local communities.”

The new three-lane, climate-resilient bridge includes wildlife safety features.

In the immediate aftermath of the November 2021 flooding, Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon was closed until Jan. 24 , 2022, with clean-up and temporary repairs taking place at nearly two dozen sites. A one-lane, 260-foot temporary Atcow bridge was put in place at Falls Creek to span the washout, which meant single-lane alternating traffic and sometimes lengthy delays at the site.

Two-way traffic did not return to Falls Creek until Dec. 15, 2023, meaning travellers along the route no longer had to wait for a pilot car to lead them through the site. The Atcow bridge was removed in late January 2024.

Work at Nicomen, 19 kilometres south of Spences Bridge, is ongoing, with a temporary bridge in place and single-lane alternating traffic in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week while work is carried out on the existing highway bridge, which was badly damaged in November 2021. The traffic changes at the site are expected to be in place until November 2024.

Work is also ongoing at another spot that was badly affected by the November 2021 event: Tank Hill, 13 kilometres north of Lytton, where the highway used to pass beneath the CP mainline. Both the highway and rail line were badly damaged, and since January 2022 the highway has crossed the rail line at a level crossing, meaning drivers must stop for passing trains.

Work has now started to reinstate the grade separation between the highway and the rail line, but no details regarding what that will look like, or a timeline for completion of the project, have been released.

For more details about the Highway 1 flood recovery projects in the Fraser and Thompson canyons, go to https://bit.ly/4chrlqm.



Barbara Roden

About the Author: Barbara Roden

I joined Black Press in 2012 working the Circulation desk of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal and edited the paper during the summers until February 2016.
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