Trish Waddington of Youbou is fed up with the dust that has once again become noticeable with the return of the heat and the summer weather.
Waddington lives 30 feet from Youbou Road, and in an email to Pat Weaver, director for Area I, she expressed that the amount of dust put off by the passing logging trucks is not acceptable and is an ongoing issue.
“Please may I express clearly the road is not the problem. It continues to be the dirty logs on the trucks. Plus you would never know there was dust control on the dirt road coming into Youbou from the bush,” says Waddington.
For several days, Waddington has been documenting the passing trucks and just how much dust they shed as they pass through town.
Waddington, like many other Youbou residents, is still calling for a wash station to be set up on the west end of the town, near where the trucks enter onto the main road through town.
“Our homes are filthy, and we breathe these conditions five days a week while the trucks are on the road,” says Waddington.
She has also documented the route of the wash truck; a vehicle that passes over the roads and sprays water to keep the dust down and wash the roads. She says that the effort is a waste of time and money, as half an hour after it has passed the roads are dry and dusty once again.
“We see it first hand, there is no problem right now with resident vehicles, clean logging trucks and logs, only the dirty trucks. What can we do to make them (the logging companies) understand this? Outside of this, I am trying to enjoy summer, but I must tell you it is hard to be living like this five days a week,” she says.
Weaver says she has sat at the west end entrance to town, near the fire hall, and followed the logging trucks as they drive through town.
“If they go the speed limit, there is no dust,” say says. “But as soon as they sped up, the dust started to fly off them.”
She says that speed is definitely a factor, and suggests that one solution could be to have the Ministry of Transportation and Highways post new speed limit signs through Youbou.
“I’m trying to get a meeting with the ministry because I figured this would happen as soon as the weather warmed up,” says Weaver.
As for the wash truck, Weaver says she was hoping that it would keep up with the dust issue, “but it really isn’t working.”
Kate Trotter, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Vancouver Island District, says the ministry and TimberWest are doing everything they can.
“To reduce the dust in Youbou, TimberWest applied calcium (to the roads) in May and will apply more again this August. In addition, the company has arranged for Youbou Road to be monitored and swept and washed during the summer.”
As for a wash station, it does not look like the prayers of Youbou residents are going to be answered anytime soon.
“At this time, a truck wash station is not planned, but the ministry will continue to work with TimberWest on further dust and mud control mitigation,” says Trotter.