Metal fence erected along U.S.-Canadian backroad border amid COVID ‘loophole’ meet-ups

(Sarah Grochowski/Aldergrove Star)
(Sarah Grochowski/Aldergrove Star)
(Sarah Grochowski/Aldergrove Star)
(Sarah Grochowski/Aldergrove Star)
(Sarah Grochowski/Aldergrove Star)

It began Tuesday (Aug. 18) – metal posts being shunted into the ground by heavy machinery and American workers near the Canadian border.

Starting in areas adjacent to Ross Road in Abbotsford, which is separated from the U.S. by a small ditch, high-tension cable barriers began to be erected.

It is between those same roads that Americans and Canadians have met during the COVID-19 pandemic, while the border remains closed to non-essential traffic.

On Wednesday, Canadian families were still seen meeting with their American counterparts in the Double Ditch Road on Zero Avenue in Aldergrove.

Their cars were parked on either of the parallel U.S. and Canadian roads.

RELATED: Families separated by B.C. border restrictions again meeting ‘in the ditch’ on roads along the border

It’s something Langley residents have expressed concerns about in recent weeks, considering the rate of COVID-19 infections in Washington State, which sits at more than 68,000 total confirmed cases and more than 1,800 deaths.

Langley’s Sandra Leone was riding her bike along Zero Avenue Sunday afternoon when she witnessed groups of people on either side of the ditch visiting one another.

“There was one group we saw of at least 12 people, young and old. None were wearing masks and all were engaged in close contact – lots of hugging, talking, and laughing,” she stressed.

READ MORE: U.S./Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

Leone called it an “out of place” and “dangerous practice, what has gone on along Zero Avenue during the pandemic: It needs to be stopped immediately.”

She added: “Is this not the perfect way to spread the virus from one country to another?”

By Wednesday afternoon, the fence continued west to Bradner Road.

With Peterson Bro’s construction workers still on site, it is expected the fence will continue to the Aldergrove border crossing.

The United States Border Patrol’s Blaine sector is currently overseeing a construction project on the international boundary between the United States and Canada, and it does not apear to have anything to do specifically with COVID.

The project addresses what acting chief patrol agent Tony Holladay calls bi-national safety concerns related to a “vulnerable section” of the border located between Boundary Road in the U.S. and Zero Avenue in Canada.

The construction project involves the installation of a cable barrier system along this section of the border to prevent vehicles from either accidentally, or purposefully, crossing the boundary and endangering citizens in both countries.

“This safety cable barrier not only protects people in the United States and Canada, but it also aids in securing this portion of the border by deterring illegal vehicle entries in both directions,” Holladay said.

“Locally, in our community, trans-national criminal organizations have capitalized on this vulnerable area by smuggling both narcotics and people. The enhancement to this specific border area mitigates the threat posed by these dangerous criminal enterprises.”

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: newsroom@aldergrovestar.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Protesters in Parksville demand change to current B.C. forest practices

Approximately 50 people march along Island Highway

Qualicum Beach roundabout project would cost nearly $2M

Town to apply for funds to cover $1.79M of the total

Town of Qualicum Beach defers discussions with preservation society regarding wetlands

CAO says registered covenant will protect land in perpetuity

Qualicum Beach seek funds for $4.5M community field project

Turf surface would allow for new sporting activities

Parksville homeowner must clean up property or face penalties

If deadline not met, city crews will do the job and a bill will be sent out

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Nanaimo residents ticketed for putting garbage bins out early

Conservation officers say they issued seven tickets this week, as concerns about bears increase

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read