By: Korie Marshall

Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount was in Valemount Saturday morning to announce the installation of traffic signals at the intersection of Highway 5 and 5th Avenue.

“A lot of people really wouldn’t think a stop light is a big deal,” said Bond, “but here, it is.” She said she travels the Highway 5 corridor a lot, and is pleased to finally have more passing lanes being constructed, and very excited to announce this stop light. “It may even convince a few more people to turn into the community, since they are stopping anyway.”

The provincial government is investing $400,000 for the project, and construction has already started. Greg Bruce with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says along with the traffic signals, the turning lanes will be widened to make the corners easier and safer for trailers and other traffic.

“Improving this intersection will make it safer and easier for tourists, commercial drivers and local residents to access and exit the highway within the community of Valemount,” Bond said.

Work is being done by Lakes District Maintenance, the local maintenance contractor and Westcana, the ministry’s electrical contractor, and is expected to be completed this fall.

A news release says the provincial government has invested $13.8 million to improve transportation and infrastructure in the Robson Valley over the summer, including installing a message board at TÔªte Jaune for travellers on Highway 16 westbound and Highway 5 southbound; resurfacing on Highway 16 between Red Pass and the Alberta Border; rehabilitation work to the West Twin Bridge, 29 kilometres west of McBride, including a new pier, new bridge span, rock excavation and improved surface drainage; and constructing a new southbound passing lane on Highway 5, 55 kilometres south of Valemount near Chappell Creek.

Bond asked two Commercial Vehicle Safety Inspection agents who stopped for the announcement on Highway 5 near 17th Avenue if they thought the new passing lanes would help slow down traffic. They said it wouldn’t likely slow down traffic, but would decrease aggressive driving.