The B.C. government is moving forward with a reconfiguration of the Balmoral Road intersection west of Salmon Arm in hopes of improving safety for motorists.
The Highway 1 intersection has been the site of numerous crashes in the past, so the changes are designed to stop drivers from crossing the intersection in the ways which resulted in most of the collisions.
The changes will still allow left turns off the highway onto Balmoral Road with a protected left-turn bay. The other option which was considered by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure would have eliminated all left turns onto and off the highway. Both options considered restricted travel across the highway on Balmoral Raod using barricades.
After significant input from local people, we're moving forward with a safety reconfiguration of the #BCHwy1 and Balmoral Road intersection, which had a higher than average collision rate over the last decade: https://t.co/lzMlVBuuMo #Sorrento pic.twitter.com/ALf0Pm7XeB
— BC Transportation (@TranBC) August 14, 2019
The changes come with good reason; according to MOTI data, 70 per cent of collisions at the intersection over the past 10 years have involved a vehicle turning left onto the highway or travelling straight across the highway.
The construction option selected was the ministry’s preferred option going into the public consultation process, which took the form of an open house and online feedback collection. The ministry states it best balances the need for safety while still providing access to Balmoral Road.
To access Balmoral Road on the opposite side of the highway, drivers will have to use the nearby underpass.
The ministry states additional funding has also been approved to include highway acceleration lanes, both eastbound and westbound from the Balmoral intersection. A press release states the request for acceleration lanes was regularly requested in the feedback the ministry received.
The ministry expects construction to begin in late September and be complete in November. Minor delays can be expected but, according to the ministry, one lane of the highway in both directions will be maintained throughout construction.