Commuter traffic between Kamloops and Barriere will reach their destinations faster and safer, now that two major improvement initiatives on Highway 5 have been completed. These 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 (2m 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
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; and three km of McLure area side roads were also resurfaced.
This section of Highway 5 is part of B.C.’s Ranchlands and Rivers Circle Route, and the new passing lane makes it easier and safer to get around slower-moving vehicles travelling between Barriere and Kamloops.
On Saturday, Oct. 22, Kamloops–Thompson–Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod, Kamloops – North Thompson MLA Terry Lake, and District of Barriere Mayor Mike Fennell officially declared the road project completed.
“The Government of Canada is pleased to invest in this important infrastructure project that will benefit communities along Highway 5. These improvements are important to our commuter traffic as well as to improving the safety of our travelling residents and public,” said MP McLeod, on behalf of the Honourable 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,” added MLA Lake.
It was noted that 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.
“This North Thompson passing lane will certainly increase safety, and help keep traffic moving on the Yellowhead. The co-operation between the federal government and the Province has been excellent. The communities along the Yellowhead look forward to more joint projects in the future,” said Mayor Fennell.
Both initiatives were carried out by Dawson Construction Limited.
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 Government of Canada’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. Under this program, federal funding flows based on approved Capital Plans.