Costly operation almost complete to remove crane truck from ditch in Central Saanich

Costly operation almost complete to remove crane truck from ditch in Central Saanich

WATCH: It’s been roughly two weeks since an old crane truck tipped over on Lochside Drive in Central Saanich. But removing the 60-ton truck has proved more tedious and more expensive than anyone originally thought. As Luisa Alvarez reports, crews have been on site all day carefully carrying out the complex operation.

It turned into quite the engineering spectacle to safely remove a 60-ton crane truck from the muddy ditch on Lochside drive in Central Saanich.

“We had to remove the soft soils build gravel rock pads to situate the cranes on to provide a nice stable ground for the cranes to lift from,” said Ted Robbins, general manager of Integrated Water Services for the CRD.

It’s taken nearly two weeks of planning and cleanup to finally get to remove it.

“We have been mitigating the environmental risk throughout the week with an environmental consultant we also took the extra step of removing the hydraulic fluid and the fuels from the vehicle,” said Robbins.

The crane is about one metre away from the water main that serves the entire Saanich Peninsula, so the sensitive position it was in making the whole operation even more complex.

“We could potentially have no drinking water or fire protection water for the Saanich Peninsula, which of course includes the three municipalities, the airport, the ferry terminal, and Saanich Peninsula Hospital,” said Robbins.

Every move was meticulous and calculated.

The entire operation that was first estimated to cost around $30,000 is now projected to cost a lot more than that, with manpower and specialized equipment the tally continues.

“The costs of doing this right and mitigating risk to the main are certainly less than they would be if that main was compromised in any way,” said Robbins.

Robbins says they are working with the crane truck owner and ICBC which has ensured the vehicle, and they expect to recover the cost.

Lochside Drive remains closed to traffic but Robbins says they expect it to be reopened by the end of the day Friday after the site has been cleaned and cleared.

Luisa AlvarezLuisa Alvarez

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