On May 24th, East Kootanay MLA Bill Bennett was joined by several honourable guests to announce the 7.6 million dollar investment in highway safety in the Elk Valley and surrounding area. The project will see seven road improvement projects that will increase safety, visibility and mobility for drivers in the area, especially mine traffic and recreationalists. “These seven projects represent significant improvements to our local transportation infrastructure. Highway3 and 43 in particular are highly travelled routes and the work scheduled for this summer will make driving in the area safer, and more comfortable for years to come.
The projects include:
The Highway 43 paving project will see the first four kilometers of Highway 43 milled out and resurfaced with new pavement. “We really appreciate the resurfacing that has already taken place and now this resurfacing as well,” says Elkford Mayor Dean McKerracher. “The project has had a huge impact on us, with all of the back and forth mining traffic, it is has been really beneficial,” he says.
Highway 3 reflector improvements which will substantially increase visibility along Highway 3 with the installation of 32 new curve signs and 600 diamond grade double sided barrier reflectors. “Hooray,” says Sparwood Mayor Lois Halko, who is thrilled to see this improvement take place. “That is such a busy highway, and that was one of the things on my wish list to see happen,” she says.
Highway 3 asphalt rehabilitation from Olsen Overhead to Sparwood will see the old pavement from the passing lanes to the Highway 43 junction milled and overlayed with a hot mix asphalt.
The Wardner Overhead restoration project will include replacing a deck joint and restoring damaged concrete along the Wardner Overhead Bridge.
Highway 3 and Brenner’s Road intersection, resurfacing and safety improvement project is a partnership between the Ministry and the RDEK to see these highest traffic safety improvements take place. “We are really happy to have contributed to this,” says Mike Sosnowski Director Area A RDEK. “We have contributed $475000 to this project and it is great to fix a hazardous area that has been there for years,” he says.
Savarie and Hidden Springs Road will have hard surfacing which converts gravel into a paved surface. Bennett notes the importance of this project as Savarie is a pick up point on the school bus route.
Eleven kilometers of the Lower Elk Valley Road will have recycled asphalt replaced, providing a sealed surface using recycled materials. “This is so wonderful,” says Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano. “In all my years I have not seen any other MLA work this hard for our area,” she says. “I give a huge thanks to Bill for all he has done and all the funding he has brought to the Elk Valley and area for these highway projects,” says Sosnowski.
“This is the 11th consecutive year we have invested significantly in the Elk Valley, and this is something we hope to see continue.” says Bennett. The projects will take place throughout the summer and are expected to be complete by September 15, 2012.