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)(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

Vernon’s Barb and Denis Murdoch, pictured at Lake Louise in 1987, will be inducted into the builder category of the B.C. Volleyball Hall of Fame, Class of 2021, on Feb. 15. (Murdoch family photo)
Vernon volleyball couple earn Hall of Fame call

Denis and Barb Murdoch will be inducted into B.C. Volleyball Hall of Fame in builder category

(File)
Overwhelming support for Vernon businesses this holiday season: Chamber

Vernon chamber urges shoppers to keep dollars local amid pandemic with #voteVernon campaign

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to reports of a structure fire on Valleyview Place Jan. 26, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)
Fire snuffed in Vernon home

No visible smoke, flames from area of reported structure fire

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Another death linked to COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon care home

It’s the sixth death at Noric House related to the virus to date

Design rendering for the proposed Coldstream Community Centre. An advisory committee will make a decision on the latest site plan Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (Sahuri & Associates rendering)
Coldstream committee to review latest designs for new community centre

Design renderings have been released for the centre that would add 84 local child care spaces

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Kevin Lee Barrett pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault of his mother Eleanor Holmes on Tuesday, Jan. 26. (File)
West Kelowna man who beat his mom could be sentenced up to 9 years

Kevin Barrett entered a surprise guilty plea to the lesser charge of aggravated assault on Tuesday morning

Interior Health reported two more COVID-19 deaths at Sunnybank Retirement Center in Oliver Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 claims lives of two more South Okanagan care home residents

Five residents of the Oliver care home have died since the outbreak was first declared

11 more cases of COVID-19 have been linked to a cluster on Big White Mountain. Pictured above is TELUS park at Big White Ski Resort, Jan. 26. (Big White Ski Resort)
11 more cases of COVID-19 linked to Big White cluster

This brings the total case count to 225, according to health authorities in a Tuesday update

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

Oliver Elementary School
Former Oliver PAC treasurer charged with fraud returns to court

Belinda Yorke will be in court to fix a date for trial in February

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Most Read