Metro Vancouver Parks workers have a big cleanup job at Campbell Valley Regional Park, after Tuesday’s storm caused a minor mudslide.
The slide hit the former bleachers section at the old Langley Speedway race track, located just south of the park entrance around the 1000 block of 208th Street.
At the northwestern corner of the track, a chunk of the slope at least six metres wide collapsed and slid across the asphalt track.
On the way, the mud, grass, and blackberry bushes popped the guardrails off of their timber supports.
The slide was discovered Wednesday morning.
Wendy Dadalt of Metro Vancouver Parks said it appears that water collected on the flat field (formerly a Speedway parking lot) above the slope, then rushed down and caused the collapse.
The land there is not a fully natural formation, Dadalt noted.
“It’s been reshaped a little bit in the past, which probably makes it more vulnerable.
From the 1960s to the early 1980s, the slope was the bleachers for the Speedway, where visitors watched races on the quarter mile track.
After the race track closed and most of the track’s facilities were dismantled, grass, blackberries, and trees grew up where there had once been benches. The old guardrails fell over or were buried in foliage.
The spot that collapsed had been partially cleared of blackberries by volunteers from the Langley Speedway Historical Society, who want to preserve the memories of Langley’s racing days. They had also rebuilt that section of guardrail just a few years ago.
With fewer trees than the other parts of the slopes, and a lot of water, the bank simply collapsed.
Speedway Historical Society president Murray Jones has seen pictures of the mess.
“It took out a lot of the guardrails we put back up there,” Jones said.
Fortunately, he said, the volunteers didn’t set the rails up with the strength of a real highway guardrail.
It appears the metal rails popped off as soon as the mud hit. Those visible don’t appear badly bent.
Jones said he and his fellow racing enthusiasts will be back out there to help with the cleanup if they’re asked to by Metro Parks.
“We’ll be down there for sure,” he said.
Metro Parks is still considering what it will cost to clean up, and whether the bank will be rebuilt, or if it will have to be stabilized in some other way, said Dadalt.
An engineer was to visit the site Friday.
Right now, both the top and bottom of the site are roped off, with signs warning visitors away.
Jones said as far as he knows, it’s the first landslide in at least 50 years at the Speedway. Dadalt confirmed that she hasn’t heard of a comparable mudslide in Campbell Valley Park.