New passing lane for Highway 3 near Sparwood

A new passing lane is in the works for Highway 3 near Sparwood.

A new passing lane is in the works for Highway 3 near Sparwood. In an effort to improve safety on the well-travelled route, the passing lane will begin just west of the Highway 3 – Douglas Road intersection, and will run westbound for 1.5 kilometres.

“Ensuring the safety of those who use this highway is crucial as it serves as the main route used by commercial, commuter, and tourist traffic,” said Bill Bennett, Kootenay East MLA. “This new passing lane is a vital investment in the East Kootenay.”

The project was identified as a high priority during discussions with the Mayors and regional District Chairs along Highway 3, as well as the District of Sparwood. The passing lane will allow passenger vehicles to safely pass trucks as they reach posted speeds.

Highway 3 provides access to Elk Valley Provincial Park, Fernie Alpine Resort, fly-fishing on the Elk River, and several other regional recreational amenities. The guaranteed passing opportunity is intended not only to increase safety, but also to improve mobility and reliability for all motorists.

A $6 million contract has been awarded to Kootenay company Barrie MacKay Contracting Ltd. to construct the lane. Work will start in May and is scheduled for completion by the end of September.