After several reports of serious crimes spanning weeks, access to the privately owned roads near the Wapiti River and Canfor Bridge is now restricted to the public. The Grande Prairie RCMP says mounties and County of Grande Prairie Peace Officers have responded to an increase in “concerning behaviours” like drinking and driving, underage drinking, assaults, and obstructive parking.
As a result, 32 people are facing charges related to various provincial act offences and two drivers have been charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle. Authorities will also continued to have an increase presence at the Canfor Bridge at kilometre 17.5 and along the Wapiti river.
It’s noted that the single lane bridge is used daily by logging and gravel trucks, and vehicles parked on it or along private roads north and south of it create a safety risk for both the public and industry vehicle operators.
“Our priority is to ensure public safety, and the safety of our employees and contractors who require daily access to the bridge and logging road,” says Senior Director of Communications & Government Relations for Canfor Michelle Ward. “There will no longer be pedestrian access to the bridge, nor will vehicles be allowed to stop, park on the bridge or side of the road.”
Police also stress that the behaviour of some members of the public had the potential to result in life threatening injuries or loss of life.
“Educational efforts will continue in combination with enforcement where education is unsuccessful.”
Any suspicious activity in the area is asked to be reported to RCMP or Crime Stoppers.