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

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

Haley Callison. (Facebook photo)
Former Smithereen frustrated with COVID-deniers following horrific bout with the disease

Haleigh Callison hopes people will follow precautions and tone down the rhetoric

Pellet plants deal with a lot of combustible materials. (File photo)
“Fire-related event” at Houston pellet plant injures three, shuts down operations

Rumours of an associated explosion cannot be confirmed at this time

The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce coveted Alpine Man Statue for winners of the 2020 Community and Business Awards Nov 25. (contributed photo)
Smithers Feed Store named Business of the Year

Chamber of Commerce Community and Business Awards handed out in virtual ceremony via Zoom

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Most Read