By Korie Marshall

The BC government has invested over $63 million in Highway 5 safety improvements between Kamloops and Tête Jaune Cache in the last 10 years, says the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and has plans to invest more in the next several years.

“My ministry is focused on highway improvements that make our roads, including Highway 5, safer for everyone,” says Minister Todd Stone in a recent news release. “We are working closely with the District of Clearwater council and Mayor John Harwood to ensure that we continue to improve safety along this corridor.”

On July 24, 2015, Stone, MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson Terry Lake and ministry staff met with Clearwater and regional representatives to discuss safety along this stretch of highway. The meeting came after a serious accident at the intersection of Highway 5 and Jenkins Road, Blackpool, just south of Clearwater, on July 17th.

As a result of the ministry’s safety assessment, it has announced it will increase brushing (removing trees and brush in the right of way to improve sight lines for motorists) at key locations where sight lines are poor or where the number of wildlife incidents is significant.

The ministry says it is also in the planning stages to identify future intersection improvements at Clearwater Village Road in Clearwater, a new left turn lane at Highway 5 and Highway 24 in Little Fort, and a new passing lane at Darfield including improvements to the intersection at Boulder Mountain Road and a new passing lane south of Mclure.

Over the last 10 years, the ministry has invested over $63 million in Highway 5 safety improvements between Kamloops and Tete Jaune Cache, including installing new guardrails, resurfacing sections of the highway, building new passing lanes and making highway intersections safer. This summer, the ministry is investing in new passing lanes at Chappel Creek and Camp Creek, installing guardrails North of Little Fort and installing more rockfall mesh at Fish Trap Canyon.

“These investments on Highway 5 have made a real difference in the number of crashes over the
past decade,” said Lake. “The government has made this section of highway a priority and our investment shows.”

Since 2010, crashes have decreased significantly. From Kamloops to Tête Jaune on Highway 5, fatal accidents have been reduced by more than 20%, while the volume of traffic has increased by about 8%.

This corridor is a focus for future improvements and investments as laid out in the 10-year Transportation Plan, B.C. on the Move.