Lílwat Nation: Xetólacw Village Road Resurfacing

The Lílwat Nation settlement of Xetólacw Village continues to grow with new residential and community building developments. Further to the longstanding community base, more and more people reside in or regularly visit the community. As such, the road network is experiencing increased traffic. Further as the core road corridors approach 40 years of age, the condition of these assets is deteriorating and renewal is required to restore appropriate levels of service.

Recommended upgrades to the Xetólacw Village roads generally include:
• Asphalt resurfacing and base/ sub-base replacement or repair as required to restore the road structure;
• Ditch restoration and culvert replacements to improve drainage performance;
• Additional signage and line painting to improve safety;
• Incorporation of traffic calming features and accessibility/ safety improvements at select locations; and
• Establishment of defined pedestrian/ bicycle paths within the road corridor.

The poor condition of local roads is also cited as a concern / need in our Community Land Use Plan. The proposed road resurfacing and associated works is key to ensuring safe and reliable accessibility / access to Xetólacw Village for our citizens.

Xetólacw Village is located approximately 5 km east of Mount Currie Village on IR #6 and is accessible via Highway #99 (Lillooet Lake Road) and Xit'olacw Road.
Lílwat Nation is located in Geographic Zone 2, as it is located between 50 km and 350 km from the nearest service centre to which it has year-round access (Squamish).
The Environmental Index is Index C, as the geographic location of the community is between 50 and 55 degrees latitude.

Design/ Recommended Option:
This project involves renewal/ replacement of existing assets within their current footprint. The existing road corridors are generally serving the community well aside from the condition concerns noted above. The resurfacing/ reconstruction approach will be refined based on the field investigations and further geotechnical input.

Road Resurfacing:
The resurfacing/ reclamation approach is consistent with the recent works completed on select segments of Xetólacw Village roads and based on the following approach:
• Mill existing 65 mm asphalt as well as upper 50 mm of existing base (to be stockpiled locally for re-use by Lílwat);
• Supply, place, and compact imported 19 mm minus, 50 mm thick road base; and
• Supply, place, and compact single lift of 75 mm asphalt.

Drainage Improvements:
Following drainage imnprovements will be carried out:
• Vegetation grubbing along a portion of the east side of Xit'olacw Road to remove brush that is impeding drainage ditches (and sight lines);
• Ditch cleaning/ rehabilitation along a portion of the east side of Xit'olacw Road to delineate the roadside drainage infrastructure from the Peq Creek berm;
• Replacement of damaged or deficient culverts at select accesses; and
• Installation of culvert headwalls at select located where such are noted to be missing.

Traffic Calming/ Accessibility Features:
The following works are assumed:
• Construction of a gravel path along the West side of Xit'olacw Road, beyond the ditch line/ power lines to provide a safer pedestrian/ bicycle corridor. This will be 1.2 m wide gravel path or similar;
• Construction of a gravel path (1.2 m wide) on the South side of Blackbear Road between the Tsípun Store and just East of Eagle Drive, including a small pedestrian bridge over an existing ditch/ ravine. This is to alleviate pedestrian traffic that currently flows along the edges of Blackbear Road, which is unsafe and impacts traffic;
• Construction of speed humps at two select locations; and
• Construction of safety improvements (bollards or similar) at the bus stop located near the Xit'olacw Road/ Eagle Drive intersection.

Signage/ Line Painting:
The following works are assumed:
• Supply and installation of approximately 20 signs to replace existing or address missing signage. Note these are limited to safety signs and do not include road name signage or similar;
• Painting a solid yellow centre line for all resurfaced road sections;
• Painting a white fog line on each shoulder of all resurfaced road sections; and
• Line painting at resurfaced intersections and speed humps (ie. stop lines, crosswalks, etc.).

Geotechnical Investigation:
A geotechnical investigation will be completed to inform the resurfacing approach/ specifications. This will consist of machine-augered test holes within the road cross section along with dynamic cone penetration tests at select test hole locations. The intent is to assess the condition of the existing pavement structure, base, and sub-base.

Environmental Review:
An Environmental Review Process Project Description has been prepared using the ISC form template. Adverse environmental impacts are not anticipated due to the location of the proposed infrastructure to previously disturbed areas and within the footprint of the current assets.

Land Encumbrance Check:
A land encumbrance check request has been submitted to ISC. According to Lílwat records, the proposed works do not encroach on any encumbered lands.

There are no environmental permits anticipated to be required for this project. Tree clearing will be limited to limbing/ underbrush removal within the existing road corridors, consistent with typical O&M activities.

All work will be within IR #6 and outside of the Highway #99 right-of-way. As such, permits or approvals from Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure are not required.

Environment (Impact Assessment):
This project is located within critical habitat for Strix occidentalis caurina (Spotted owl caurina subspecies). Works are to occur
only on pre-disturbed areas and negative impacts to the critical habitat are not anticipated. While this project is located within
critical habitats, no habitat features are present as all works are occurring on a roadway.
It is Urban Systems recommendation that all works for this project occur outside of the bird nesting window for this area (works to occur between August 18th to March 12th) to avoid potential impact to migratory bird species, eggs or their nests. If works are to occur within or near the nesting window, a Qualified Environmental Professional must be contacted to perform a
bird nesting sweep.

Two species-at-risk occurrences were notable upon review of the project sites using ImapBC. Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris) listed as 25608 on the attached "Species Occurrences" Document. As well as Common Sharp-tailed snake (Contia tenuis) listed as 59403 on the attached "Species Occurrences" Document.
Common Sharp-Tailed Snake (Contia tenuis) –
As per the COSEWIC Assessment and Status report on the Sharp-tailed Snake (COSEWIC 2021), "In British Columbia, Sharp-tailed Snake occurs in woodland habitats, where it is found  predominantly in and around small rocky openings on hillsides with
a warm exposure (British Columbia Ministry of Environment 2015). A mosaic structure of habitats with ample thermoregulation opportunities might be particularly important at the northern limits of its distribution, where the species may occur near its physiological limits."
Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris) –
As per the B.C. Ministry of Environment recovery plan for Dun Skipper (B.C. Ministry of Environment 2013), "Dun Skipper
habitats are within the following biogeoclimatic zones: Coastal Douglas-fir (CDF), Coastal Western Hemlock (CWH) in the
coastal areas, and Ponderosa Pine (PP) in the Boston Bar areas." …" General habitat characteristics for Dun Skipper include open south to southwest slope exposures (< 15% slope); adjacent to or within open forest comprised of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) with lowland forest components below cliffs and hillsides comprised of Douglas-fir and open deciduous woods that include bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum Pursh); and close to open, sparsely vegetated cliffs (Knopp et al. 2007, 2009, 2010), edges of sedge-dominated wetlands and wet grasslands (Pyle 2002). Towards the interior of the Fraser Valley, and as habitats became drier (e.g., Boston Bar, Lillooet to Pemberton), Dun Skipper has been observed on gently sloping
hillsides, generally within 1 km of cliff habitat."

As this project concerns works that will only occur on pre-disturbed areas, it is not expected that habitat suitable for Sharp-tailed Snake or Dun Skipper will be negatively impacted.

Mitigation Measures:
The following mitigation measures and best practices are recommended for the proposed works:
• Dispose of construction waste at an appropriate facility;
• Refuel construction equipment at a dedicated location with appropriate spill containment and similar;
• Implement and maintain erosion and sediment control measures to minimize impacts to surrounding areas;
• If dewatering is required, ensure discharged water is directed to an appropriate location with erosion and sediment control in place; and
• Conduct vegetation / tree clearing between August 17th and March 12th which avoids the nesting season for migratory birds known to frequent the area. Alternatively, an active nest survey could be completed by a Qualified Environmental Professional.

Known or Suspected Contaminated Sites:
It is Urban Systems recommendation that a professional archaeologist be engaged for advice to mitigate the potential of disturbing a historical/archaeological site. Three federal contaminated sites exist near the project site and information on said sites has been attached, no Provincially listed contaminated
sites are near the project site. However, as this project concerns road resurfacing and will only occur on pre-disturbed areas, it is not expected that these contaminated sites will impact the project.

Traditional and Cultural Uses of Lands and Resources:
Chief and Council have determined that traditional and cultural uses of lands and resources will not be impeded by the proposed road resurfacing. In the event that suspected archaeological or heritage features are discovered during the work, work will in the immediate area will cease and the find will be discussed with a professional archaeologist prior to undertaking any further work in the area of discovery.

Environmental Effects and Mitigation Measures:
1. Introduction of Invasive Species: Through the grubbing and removal of vegetation allows for disturbance to the ground where invasive species that are known in the area may establish.
Proposed Mitigation Measure: To prevent invasive species establishment and spread, the contractor must comply with the BC Weed Control Regulation and implement best practices.

2. Air Quality from Dust and Odours: The project activities will result in airborne dust from ground disturbance and additional odours may be added to the atmosphere from asphalt and equipment.
Proposed Mitigation Measure: Dust control should be implemented to avoid dust generation and protect adjacent areas and personnel. In addition, vehicles and equipment should not be idling for long periods of time.

3. Health Economic and Social Considerations: The noise and navigation introduction to the community for the duration of
the project may result in an affect on community well-being.
Proposed Mitigation Measure: Working within noise bylaw hours and having sufficient traffic movement throughout the community while the project is underway will address the potential environmental effect.


Latest update

October 23, 2023 - Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) issued its Notice of Determination and determined that the project:
- is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.


Key documents

Key documents
Document Number Document Title File Date
1 Notice of Intent to Make a Determination - Start of Public Comment Period - September 28, 2023


Indigenous Services Canada
Fasih Siddiqui, Senior Engineer
1138 Melville Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 4S3
Telephone: 604-376-0802
Fax: 604-775-7149
Email: Fasih.Siddiqui@sac-isc.gc.ca

  • Location

    • Xetólacw Village where works are planned to occur is located roughly 5 km east of Mount Currie Village on IR #6. (British Columbia)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Other, not otherwise specified
  • Assessment Status

    In progress
  • Start Date

  • Proponent

    Li´lwat Nation
  • Authorities

    • Indigenous Services Canada
  • Assessment Type

    Project on federal lands
  • Reference Number


This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. More than one marker may be identified for a given assessment.


Nearby assessments

...within 200 kilometres
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