Long-term fix wanted for dangerous Highway 1 intersection

Shuswap’s Balmoral Store owner concerned province will choose option unsatisfactory for residents

Plans are in the works to improve the dangerous intersection of the Trans-Canada Highway and Balmoral Road in Tappen, but at least one resident is concerned about the long term.

Following another crash there on Feb. 26, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure stated in an email that it is looking at ways to improve the safety of the intersection.

“We have completed site surveys at this intersection and staff are studying the data and assessing options for potential safety improvements,” states the email. “Once options have been identified this spring, the ministry will share them with the community for feedback before selecting an option to move forward.”

Although up-to-date statistics were not available, ICBC has made public crash data available throughout the province for the five years from 2013 to 2017. During that time, 12 crashes are reported for that intersection.

Read more: Highway improvements between Chase and Salmon Arm being designed

Jordie Wiens, who has owned the Balmoral Store for the past year-and-a-half and has a front-row view of the site, said the figure seems low. He says he is aware of at least four crashes this year, which can be very traumatic for staff.

“At the store, you hear that bang and you think, there’s another one. I’ve had to use my jacket to cover up more than one person.”

Wiens said he is on the South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce and they have been advocating heavily for the past eight months for improvements. He said they have been assured something will be done before summer, which leaves him with mixed feelings.

Read more: TCH east of Chase to be upgraded

What he’s heard so far will save lives and make the intersection safer, and he’s for it. However, he sees it as a temporary fix, which will be inadequate and harmful to the community if it remains in the long term.

He says the plans he’s heard involve having all vehicles go through the underpass, about half a kilometre east of Balmoral Store or down the frontage road to Carlin. He said vehicles would no longer be permitted to make left turns onto the highway from either side of the intersection, nor would driving across the highway be allowed.

He contends the underpass is not to the standard it needs to be to handle the traffic flow, nor would the increased traffic on winding, narrow Blind Bay Road or Golf Course Drive be a safe alternative.

Read more: 2016 – Intersection improvements in Sunnybrae

If this plan goes ahead and becomes the long-term solution, Wiens says, he also sees it greatly inconveniencing the local population and hurting tourism, including his store. He would like to see an interchange in the long term.

“I would be 100 per cent behind them if they said we’re doing this because we have to do something, and we’re going to get get going on… something permanent in the near future.”

Meanwhile, the ministry email says that once options have been identified, public feedback will be gathered before selecting a plan.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Owners Jordie and Karen Wiens stand in Balmoral Store in October 2017. (File photo)

Just Posted

Truck fire knocked down on Highway 97

The blaze has been knocked down by fire crews

More showings of controversial movie Unplanned scheduled in West Kelowna

One of the additional shows sold out in three minutes at the Landmark Xtreme

Private viewing for Elijah-lain Beauregard to be held in Penticton

Afterwards, there will be a celebration of life next to the Okanagan Lake,

Single vehicle roll over in West Kelowna sends one to hospital

One person sent to hospital with non life-threatening injuries

Rockets’ Thomson signs entry-level contract with Ottawa Senators

The defenceman was taken 19th overall by Ottawa in June’s NHL Entry Draft

UPDATE: special council meeting set for Wednesday, Basran in talks with province

Opponents of McCurdy house says she won’t ‘relinquish possession’ of more than 14,000 names

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Most Read