Second slip of soil above Jackson Road

Geotechnical engineers will monitor the slip.   - Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS
Geotechnical engineers will monitor the slip.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS

Maple Ridge staff will get a report from a geotech engineer in the next few weeks on the second slide in an old gravel pit on Jackson Road and 100th Avenue.

The gravel slipped in an area intended for public recreation, where a trail traverses a steep slope, connecting to the horse trails above in Thornhill. New homes are located farther east in the upper area on 248th Street and more new homes are planned for below in the old pit.

However, “There’s no danger to any life, limb or any houses above or anything like that,” said David Laird with Damax Consultants, working for the Redmond family, which is developing the property.

The slope was formed by pushing gravel to the bottom, which was then compacted as the slope was graded.

Hydro seeding took place in September, but there’s more planting and landscaping to take place this year for the whole slope area. However, now they’re going to monitor it for the next 18 months before anything happens.

“We’re not going to put any houses below and just monitor until we see everything is back to stable.”

Laird pointed out the recent weather involved a long dry period followed by heavy rain last weekend.

“In a sense we’re happy that it happened now and not later.”

The slide is the second to happen in the area, following an earlier one in November.

The land is still owned by the developer, noted public works general manager Frank Quinn.

“Our assumption is that it’s the same as before.”

Suburban expansion is almost complete along the east side of Jackson Road in Albion, the former location of several gravel pits.

Before construction work started in the area, the steep slopes had to be cut back until stable soil was found.

There were no homes on the slopes directly above the slip. Development in the area has all been supervised by geotechnical engineers, Quinn pointed out.

Houses were allowed to be built in the upper area on 248th Street as part of a deal worked out with the landowners, mainly the Redmond family, to preserve the lower, southwest part of the old Jackson Farm for a park.

Maple Ridge acquired the lower part of the old Jackson Farm on 102nd Avenue and 244th Street in 2010-2011.

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