March 17, 2015 - 7:28 PM
VERNON - The intersection at Highway 97 and Birnie Road, which was the scene of a fatal accident in 2014, is one of the improvements targeted under a new ten-year provincial road improvement plan.
The Birnie Road intersection is commonly used by Vernon residents on their way to the landfill. An accident along that stretch took the life of an Oyama resident June 11, 2014. If the Ministry of Transportation follows their plan for intersection improvements, proposed in June 2013 the result could be a right turn in from Highway 97 and a 'right turn only' on the way out for the roughly 80,000 vistors the landfill sees each year.
A media release today, March 17, says improvements are currently in the design phase as part of the B.C. on the Move $30 million commitment over the next three years to improve intersections in communities across the province. Intersection safety is one of 12 key priorities outlined in the plan.
“Redesigning the intersection of Highway 97 and Birnie Road will improve both access and safety at this increasingly busy location,” Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster says in the release. “Highway 97 is the main transportation corridor through the Okanagan, so it is not only desirable to improve safety along it, it is necessary.”
B.C. on the Move was developed through feedback received from the public through more than 12,500 survey responses. The $30 million intersection improvements projects are part of a greater $2.5 billion the province expects to invest in improving transportation throughout B.C. over the next ten years. According to the province, the goal is to enhance safety, grow the economy, maintain and replace aging infrastructure and support trade for B.C.'s expanding resource sectors through Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway.
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