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

MP Morrison faults federal Throne Speech as new Parliament session begins

Kootenay-Columbia representative criticizes a lack of focus on jobs, support for resource sector

Kimberley Public Library re-opens doors to the public

Library has solely offered curbside service since onset of pandemic

Wildlife camera project explores effects of forest management practices on wildlife

Findings show no detections of cougars in sites that have been clear cut

City of Kimberley looking for feedback on active transportation

What do you like about the existing trail network for walking and cycling? What needs improvement?

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Interior Health reports five new COVID-19 cases

Across the region, 34 cases are active

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Province’s response to old growth forest report falls short, says Nelson scientist

Rachel Holt says province is saving areas that don’t need protection, ignoring those that do

Most Read