By Spencer Hall
The Ministry of Transportation says it does not plan to install a turning lane for vehicles accessing the Valemount Transfer Station from Highway 5.
The decision comes after some residents have raised safety concerns regarding the transfer station’s entrance, including lack of turning lanes from the highway, minimal signage, and potholes on the road’s shoulder. Speed is also a concern as the limit at the intersection is 90 km per hour.
In an emailed statement, the Ministry told The Goat that after reviewing the number of trips in and out of the transfer station from the highway in summer 2023, it determined the amount of users weren’t at a threshold that would require additional infrastructure to support the two private accesses onto Highway 5 at that location — one being the transfer station and the other being the entrance to the Valemount Pines Golf & RV Park.
“It was determined through this review that the two private accesses onto Highway 5 at this location were operating in an acceptable manner and did not necessitate improvements by the access permit holder,” the Ministry said.
The Ministry added the cost of a turning lane would have to be covered by the highway’s access permit holders, meaning the Regional District and the golf course would have had to split the cost of installing a turning lane from the highway.
“Private commercial accesses are permitted to connect with the provincial highway network, provided the access location is safe. Permittees are required to provide appropriate infrastructure to accommodate the traffic movements they generate and preserve a reasonable level of service for the traveling public on the highway,” the Ministry said.
“The ministry has been in communication with the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George regarding their access onto Highway 5, and we will continue to monitor its operations to ensure safety for all road users.”