Elphinstone Chronicles: What about the ‘Hole of Payne Road’?


Anyone notice the “Reed Road Bypass” looking more and more like navigation in a video game? If there’s no wild construction to divert you onto an alternate maze-like path, you’re caught deep in a mysterious square-shaped missing piece of sidewalk, or dodging black bears and deer. rushing down the road, past the cartoon-like blooming wildflowers. Then you get to the boss level.

Not once, but twice now, I drove home to Reed and had a logging truck swerved to my car in Payne. Those big logging trucks that frequent my street are the scariest, but with the ever-increasing traffic along Reed, it’s becoming a problem with standard-size cars as well. You know the reason. We have all seen it. It’s been around since November. These bright orange pylons that frivolously decorate it, the same pylons getting closer to the yellow line every day. The Payne Road hole. Where did it come from, is it growing, and why hasn’t it been fixed yet?

The gullying in Payne began last fall when this atmospheric river crossed British Columbia, causing wild flooding like we had never seen. Heavy rain runoff in Zone E caused a massive amount of debris to fall on Mount Elphinstone and flood properties across Zone E.

A creek submerged in debris from Elphinstone is named “Chaster Tributary” on most maps, which runs through the historic Bear Ranch property and, ironically, does not naturally connect to Chaster Creek at all. Bear Ranch is notable for the beautiful curved piece of wood around the property’s namesake in the driveway and is home to Farmer Dan’s family farm. I have memories from when I was a kid of this dark piece of wood and alluding to a bear shape, maybe why it got its name.

I spoke with the owner of the property, Chris Basil, who has written to various branches of the SCRD, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, Capilano Highways and other government agencies that serve the Sunshine Coast. He shared some of the correspondence with me and my first thought was that it was kind of ridiculous, but he doesn’t want to point fingers; He wants solutions. Fairly reasonable considering that throughout this beautiful, old plot of land there has been extensive damage. Basil fears that a car will fall a meter into the hole or have an accident.

“Eastbound traffic has to cross the center line to pass the barriers,” Basil says, making Reed “not actually a two-lane road in front of my property and my driveway.” He misses six lost meters on the shoulder of the road, extending to his property. The tallest pylons are constantly thrown into the hole by traffic, vandals or by the continuous erosion of the hole. Yes, it’s not your imagination, it grows. Bear Ranch has spent a significant amount of money trying to secure the area, and Farmer Dan’s vegetable stand has also suffered this season due to being away from the road, going from six days a week last summer one day a week this summer. . It’s a bit of a mess for the owner, the business, and anyone going through this whole thing.

The reasons why it has not yet been repaired, for example, after the completion of the Church Well project or when the weather becomes drier, vary. The creek has been dry for over a month, and I hate to state the obvious, but if we wait any longer it will get wet again. Hoping action is taken and we can get the route up the priority list before the rains return and Reed gets a bit friendlier.


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