Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and Ministry of Environment
The B.C. government is making significant investments in the Clearwater area to improve safety on Highway 5, and increase awareness and access to Wells Gray Provincial Park.
“The roundabout will give visitors even greater access to the Wells Gray Information Centre – a stone’s throw from the roundabout,” said Minister of Environment Terry Lake.
“Signage at the roundabout will let motorists traveling Highway 5 know about attractions in the area, including profiling world-class Wells Gray Provincial Park, which will hopefully increase the number of visitors to the Clearwater area and the park.”
A new roundabout will replace the current intersection at the junction of Highway 5 and Clearwater Valley Road, which will reduce the potential for serious crashes and improve safety for local residents, visitors, tourists and commercial traffic using the corridor. The roundabout will calm traffic through the corridor and beautify the northern entrance to the community of Clearwater and the main access route to Wells Gray Provincial Park.
“We listened to concerns from local community leaders about safety through the community, and developed this roundabout as the solution,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Mary Polak.
“This project will help improve safety at the intersection while providing an interesting and appealing entrance to the community and the Wells Gray Park access.”
BC Parks and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure are working together to ensure the central design features of the roundabout highlight Clearwater’s proximity to the park.
The Yellowhead Highway 5 is a major north-south route linking British Columbia with Alberta. Because of this, the roundabout will be able to accommodate the large commercial vehicles, including wide loads, that use the Yellowhead corridor.
Design and engineering work for the project is complete and the project will be out to tender shortly. Clearing of the right-of-way and relocation of underground water and sewer services will get underway this month, with roundabout construction underway next spring.
Completion of the new roundabout on Highway 5 in Clearwater is scheduled for September 2013.
In addition, BC Parks will be making improvements to Clearwater River Road in Wells Gray Provincial Park. The 20-kilometre project will improve the road’s drainage, reducing the amount of damage the road incurs during the annual freshet.
The road is used by park use permit holders, general recreationists, anglers and river rafters. Work on the road improvements is scheduled to begin this month and be completed by Nov. 30, 2012. An Invitation to Quote is posted on BC Bid.