Hwy 5 improvements motor ahead

Two major improvement initiatives on Highway 5 south of Barriere have been completed

(L-r) MLA Terry Lake

(L-r) MLA Terry Lake

KAMLOOPS – Vehicles traveling between Kamloops and the North Thompson Valley will reach their destinations faster and safer, now that two major improvement initiatives on Highway 5 have been completed.

A new passing lane south of Barriere is making it easier and safer to get around slower-moving vehicles while traveling to Kamloops.

Shoulders have also been widened and roadside barriers installed on Highway 5 through Fishtrap Canyon to improve motorist safety in an area prone to rock fall.

“The government of Canada is pleased to invest in this important infrastructure project that will benefit communities along Highway 5,” said Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod. “These improvements are important to our commuter traffic as well as to improving the safety of our traveling residents and public.”

McLeod was speaking on behalf of Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

“By shortening drive times and making the drive safer and more comfortable, these projects have already made a significant difference along the route between Kamloops and Barriere,” said Kamloops – North Thompson MLA Terry Lake.

Annual traffic volumes are in the order of 5,500 vehicles per day on Highway 5 in this area. Approximately 17 per cent of the traffic includes slower-moving vehicles comprised of buses, recreational vehicles and heavy trucks.

The improvements include:

· A 2.4-km southbound passing lane

· Left turn slots from the highway at Walterdale and Orchard Lake Roads

· Intersection lighting at Walterdale and Orchard Lake Roads

· Intersection realignments at Walterdale and Orchard Lake Roads

· Widened shoulders throughout the project area (2 m paved)

· School bus turn-around at Orchard Lake Road

· Six km of additional asphalt resurfacing on Highway 5, on either side of the passing lane project

·  Three km of McLure area side roads were also resurfaced

The total cost of the passing lane initiative was approximately $6 million. Total joint funding toward eligible costs under the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund was $4.6 million. The Province of British Columbia contributed the remaining balance of $1.4 million.

The additional asphalt resurfacing, valued at $2.5 million, was entirely funded by the Province of B.C. under its road rehabilitation program.

The federal government’s Provincial-Territorial Base Fund is providing $175 million to British Columbia to address core infrastructure priorities such as water, wastewater, green energy, and highways.