The proposed area for the new intersection, close to Woz Mechanical and Snowy Peaks RV. Google Maps photo

Proposed Hosmer intersection set to improve safety

A proposed intersection in Hosmer aims to improve the safety of those turning off of Highway 3.

The proposal would mean the installation of a dedicated turning lane at the Woz Mechanical and the Snowy Peaks RV and Trailer Court. Currently anyone wishing to pull off of Highway 3 at that spot is forced to slow down and stop in the middle of the two-lane highway, or continue on into Hosmer where they can make a U-turn at the Fire Station.

The stretch of highway is known by locals as dangerous, as any westbound traffic wishing to turn left off of the highway into the trailer court must rely on those behind them to stop, or pull around them using the shoulder of the highway. In addition, anyone wishing to leave the trailer court bound for Fernie have no use of a dedicated merging lane. All of these issues aim to be addressed in the new project.

“It’d be a full-on intersection similar to the transfer station (in Fernie),” said RDEK Area A director Mike Sosnowski.

“A slow-down lane, a speed-up lane on the other side,” he said, adding that it would also include a turning lane into Woz Mechanical for southbound traffic.

According to Sosnowski, this has been a long time coming.

“That is a very needed safety measure in the Elk Valley,” said Sosnowski. “It’s in a 100km/hr zone, 70 people live in the trailer court, and then you’ve got the commercial businesses… it’s a very busy place.”

He said this would require some of the local landowners to give up a small portion of their land in order for the new intersection to be installed. However, Sosnowski explained that those he met with agreed to do whatever it took to make this happen.

Sosnowski said it has taken about two years for this matter to gain traction with the Province, but recently came to the table after a traffic study of the area was completed. That being said, Sosnowski explained the demand for new intersections in B.C. is high; they are one of several hundred similar situations.

The area director said that RDEK Area A has proposed to contribute up to one million in funding for the project. He believes this has significantly helped boost the speed of the project.

“They’ve done a design already, and now they’re into the costing phase,” said Sosnowski. “How much will this cost? I don’t know that yet.

“I’m hopeful that things will move (along),” he added. “Hopefully we get that accomplished.”

Sosnowski said the RDEK expects to hear more about the project before the end of 2019.

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