The Highway 19A construction project has wrapped up for the season after a midden was discovered near Rotary Beach Park. A midden is archeological evidence of past First Nations occupation in the area. Image provided

Archaeological discovery halts Highway 19A waterfront sewer and water project

Last stretch of this year’s work postponed

  • Sep. 26, 2019 4:30 p.m.

The discovery of archaeological remains has brought work on Highway 19A sewer and water pipe installation in Campbell River to a halt.

The remaining work planned for completion in 2019 will be postponed, the city announced today. Roughly two kilometres of new sewer and water pipes have been installed along Highway 19A north from Rockland Road this summer. Construction is now wrapping up in preparation for ongoing wet weather, marking the completion of the second phase in the three-year Waterfront Project.

While the project team had set the target of reaching First Avenue by the end of this summer’s construction period, work along part of the route will be postponed until 2020 due to the discovery of a midden near Rotary Beach Park.

To make sure this archeological find is properly cared for and the necessary assessment and permitting is completed, sewer pipe will be installed along this section of the highway as part of next year’s already-scheduled construction through the corridor.

A midden is archeological evidence of past First Nations occupation in the area. Middens can include items such as shells, bone, botanical material and artifacts. Construction work sometimes encounters middens during ground excavations in this region, and there are policies and permits required to ensure they are properly assessed and managed once found, especially to ensure that any items of special interest are cared for.

“We have completed many important steps this year that set the project team up well for 2020’s construction season and our targeted completion next year,” Dave Morris, city general manager, assets and operations, said. “We thank everyone for their patience with the work over the summer.”

While this marks the completion of the most disruptive activity for the second year of the three-year upgrade to critical infrastructure along this corridor, people travelling this route will continue to see some intermittent work through the fall and winter. Traffic disruptions will be minimal.

Construction in spring and summer 2020 will be a significant undertaking, with the completion of the sewer work and aboveground work on the Highway 19A upgrade project, including installation of the Rockland Road roundabout.

Next year’s work will include a highway closure. Updates will be shared in the new year as details are confirmed.

For more info on the project, visit www.campbellriver.ca/waterfrontsewer

RELATED: Speed limit going down to 50 km/hr on Old Island Highway

RELATED: $27-million upgrades to Hwy 19A to begin this summer in Campbell River

RELATED: Campbell River highway improvement project to last four years

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