Complaints about a windy stretch of Westside Road aren’t new, but with Tuesday’s deadly crash top of mind, its safety shortcomings have become more pronounced.
It’s not an issue that has escaped the radar of the B.C. Ministry of Transportation, however, and there are plans in the works to lessen the strain on the road.
“The ministry is assessing up to 10 pullout sites to enable slower-moving vehicles, such as heavy commercial vehicles and recreational vehicles, to safely pull over so that other vehicles can pass,” said Jeff Knight, communications manager for the ministry of transportation and infrastructure.
“The first two locations just south of La Casa and at Cesar’s Landing are double sites, with pullouts on two sides of the roadway, both north and southbound.”
The other six are all single locations for a total of 10.
Once installed, they’re intended to reduce driver frustration, and the risk of unsafe passing maneuvers—two things that might have led to Tuesday’s crash.
That collision occurred Tuesday at about 6:30 p.m. on a stretch of Westside Road, about seven kilometres north of Highway 97. The driver of a Cadillac sedan, is believed to have tried to pass a northbound Toyota station wagon on a sharp curve. Instead the Cadillac sideswiped the vehicle, forcing it into the cement barrier on the side of the road. Then the Cadillac driver lost control and the vehicle plunged down a steep embankment. The car was submerged when emergency personnel arrived.
The body of a man, believed to be in his 60s, was recovered Thursday. The occupants of the other vehicle were shaken up but not injured.
The start of construction will depend on the results of both required engineering work and further consultation with First Nations on land use issues.