Small B.C. town prepared for a traffic surge caused by Highway 1 construction | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Small B.C. town prepared for a traffic surge caused by Highway 1 construction

The Village of Radium Hot Springs is preparing for an influx of traffic as the community sits at the intersection of Highways 95 and 93, part of a detour for construction taking place on Highway 1 ,starting in April.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED /WIkimedia commons
March 15, 2021 - 7:00 AM

As interprovincial motorists prepare for lengthy planned shutdowns of Trans-Canada Highway1 east of Golden this year, a small B.C. community is preparing for an onslaught of diverted traffic.

Village of Radium Hot Springs Mayor Clara Reinhardt says her community is as prepared as it can be for the non-local surge of Highway 1 traffic that is expected from those using B.C. Highways 93 and 95 as a detour from construction closures on the Trans-Canada this year.

The first closure is scheduled to start April 12 and will run until May 14.

“When they first came up with the concept, and looked at all of the options, for the safety of travellers and to keep the costs down for the twinning in Kicking Horse canyon, they realized a full closure was going to be the best option. We’ve known of the possibility of this for a year and a half,” Reinhardt says.

There has been a running dialogue between community residents, businesses, and emergency medical services, the mayor says.

There have also been discussions with parks, First Nations and the community of Golden.

“As much as we can be, we’re ready,” she says.

Reinhardt says the Ministry of Transport traffic modelling helped give the community a sense of what’s to come, but a timely closure on the Trans-Canada earlier this week gave the community a true idea of what they might expect.

A rockslide temporarily shut the Trans-Canada down between Golden and Field. Reinhardt says with “no planning, no enforcement no checks and balances in place, traffic flowed really well, so that’s the first thing. However, there was a lot of traffic, more trucks, and more noise. It was noticeable. We couldn’t pretend it wasn’t noticeable,” she says.

Reinhardt says the community is encouraging travel through their community, nonetheless. Local gas station owners who were told about this week’s closure stayed open during the detour, reacting to the sudden increase in demand.

“Good communication is going to be the key to this whole thing. We hope people will come through here who have never been here, and they will get enough of a taste they will want to come back. We actively encourage that,” Reinhardt says.

Radium Hot Springs at the junction of Highways 95 and 93.
Radium Hot Springs at the junction of Highways 95 and 93.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED /Google maps

West of Golden, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced the awarding of a $61.5 million contract to Pennecon Heavy Civil Ltd for the replacement of the Quartz Creek bridge in a release issued yesterday, March 11.

The existing two-lane bridge will be replaced with a four-lane span along with an additional 4.4 km of highway widening from two to four lanes.

The Quartz Creek bridge replacement project is part of the massive Highway 1 Kamloops to Alberta border four-lane expansion project. The province has committed $1.044 billion towards the initiative to four-lane the Trans-Canada Highway from Kamloops to the Alberta border in the next three years.

Construction of the new bridge is expected to begin this spring.

The province recently announced awarding of a contract to rebuild the Quartz Creek bridge west of Golden. The work is expected to start this spring.
The province recently announced awarding of a contract to rebuild the Quartz Creek bridge west of Golden. The work is expected to start this spring.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED /Tran BC

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