New TCH speed limit means more work for the RCMP, ambulance and rescue service… and the coroner

The Trans-Canada Highway from Sicamous to Revelstoke now has a 100 kmph speed limit.  This will soon be extended to Golden (except for the sections in the National Parks, which will retain the existing 90 kmph limit). The 38-kilometre section with the newly raised limit, from Crazy Creek to Revelstoke, has 10 curve warning signs in each direction.  These are curves where the advisory speed, in bare and dry conditions, is lower than the speed limit.  Except for one 2-km section recently upgraded to 4 lanes, it really isn’t a highway suitable for the heavy traffic and high proportion of transport trucks to travel at higher speeds.

We have the politician’s promises to upgrade the highway.  However, even the most optimistic must concede that upgrading is going to take well over a decade.  The Kicking Horse Canyon Project east of Golden is still waiting for work on phase 4 to begin — well over a decade after Phase 1 started. That 4-km section alone is expected to cost most of the $650 million that Christy Clarke announced for Trans-Canada upgrading for 2012-2022. Even if similar amounts of federal funding are forthcoming, the commitment falls way short of the cost.  It is going to be a long, long time before the main transport link between British Columbia and the rest of Canada is fit for its purpose — if it ever is.

Until the highway is upgraded I am afraid that Revelstoke will suffer increasingly frequent highway closures and there will be even more work for the RCMP, BC Ambulance Service, Revelstoke rescue truck and the coroner.

Nicholas Thomas
Revelstoke, BC