By David F. Rooney
Participation in the Ministry of Transportation’s Public Consultation is a key element of the Kamloops-to-Alberta Trans-Canada Highway twinning program, says Transportation Minister Mary Polak.
“That’s important because you discover with a project like this that local knowledge matters,” she said during a meeting with 33 attentive members of the public at the Regent Inn on Tuesday evening.
The public consultation phase of the long-awaited twinning project, was announced on Thursday. It is scheduled to begin in Kamloops on February 12, with consultations in Chase on February 13, Salmon Arm on February 20, Sicamous on February 21, Revelstoke on February 26 and Golden on February 27.
The Revelstoke consultations will be held at the Community Centre from 5 until 8 pm.
Over the next 10 years, the government has committed $650 million for the future widening of the TCH to four lanes, to add to the provincial investment and to further improve the corridor. Victoria will also be seeking contributions from the federal government, which Polak is confident that Ottawa will provide.
The province has created a “discussion guide” that describes the next seven projects it is planning. These projects make up $140 million of the $650 million investment.
Among the projects in the Revelstoke area are completion of the Clanwilliam overhead this year and a start to construction of a new bridge and four-laning of the highway at Malakwa.
There’s more, of course. The Kamloops to Alberta Four-Laning Program will create more than 3,300 direct jobs over the next 10 years. The guide also covers the background of the twinning project. Among its factoids are these:
- There are 440 kilometres of highway between Kamloops and the Alberta border.
- Average traffic volumes throughout the corridor. Average Annual Daily Traffic amounts to 12,000 vehicles (30,000 in Kamloops). The Seasonal Average Daily Traffic amounts to 15,000 vehicles (40,000 in Kamloops).
- The crashes between 2007 and 2011 resulted in 76 fatalities , 1,053 injuries and 1,483 cases of vehicle damage only,
- There were 456 road closures of 30 minutes or longer between 2005 and 2012. 291 closures were due to crashes or other vehicle-related incidents. 165 closures were due to avalanches, rock and/or mud slides and other emergency incidents.
- The value of exports cleared through B.C. in 2011 was $3 billion (an increase of 67% since 2005. $1.9 billion of those exports were on the Trans-Canada Highway. $1.1 billion were on all other B.C. highways.
People who live along the TCH are generally aware of these facts.
People can also fill out and send in an online feedback form by March 1. Click here to access that.