An accident on the narrow Malakwa Bridge in the spring of 2011 caused havoc on the Trans-Canada highway for more than a day.

Plans laid out for twinning of North Fork and Malakwa Bridges

Ministry of Transportation holds open house to present plans for upgrades to Malakwa and North Fork bridges.

By Tracy Hughes, Salmon Arm Observer

Plans to upgrade both the Malakwa and North Fork bridges to four-lane structures moved another step forward with a public presentation of the Ministry of Transportation’s plans.

Both bridges are intended to be revamped to include four lanes of roadway with wider shoulders, four-lane bridges, a paved median, rumble strips and clear zone areas to improve safety.

A Sept. 12 open house meeting drew 100 people to view the proposed plans, with a ministry spokesperson saying the feedback was mostly positive, with residents pleased that safety concerns and access issues would be addressed.

The current two-lane structures provide a so called, “pinch point” in the flow of traffic, which results in traffic disruption and safety risks.

At the presentation, it was noted that the Malakwa bridge has seen 30 collisions between 2002 and 2011. Two of those have been fatalities, 12 have resulted in injury and 16 had property damage only.

The North Fork bridge has seen a total of 61 collisions between 2002 and 2011. There has been one fatality, 15 injuries and 45 property damage collisions.

Common contributing factors in these collisions were unsafe speed, driving too fast for road conditions, narrow bridge structure and driving without due care and attention.

The existing traffic conditions also see approximately 6,000 vehicles per day crossing these bridges, a number which increases to nearly 11,000 per day during the summer months. Roughly 30 per cent of these vehicles are trucks.

A traffic study revealed that 63 per cent of drivers on the Malakwa Bridge would be directly following another vehicle, as would 61 per cent of drivers on the North Fork Bridge. Problems with traffic mobility include long traffic lines, driver frustration and unsafe passing maneuvers.

Upgrades will also eliminate the current load restriction risks associated with the current aging structures, as well as improvements for pedestrians and cyclists.

Up next for the project will be to proceed with additional consultation and design plans, including an archeological and environmental impact assessments to be completed in early 2013 for Malakwa and summer 2013 for North Fork.

Application for environmental approvals will also be initiated in early 2013 for Malakwa and in early 2014 for the North Fork project.

No timeline was given for the start and completion of construction.

Revelstoke mayor David Raven attended the Malakwa open house, where he also represented the CSRD. He said any new highway improvements are welcomed.

“We would like to see the piece in the middle completed too,” Raven said, encouraging the ministry to four-lane the section between the two bridge projects while they were at it. “We encourage them to tag it on now as a third contract,” he said.

“Some of these are fairly inexpensive,” Raven said, adding it was “a good start.”

— notes from Aaron Orlando

 

Just Posted

The Camozzis: Sisters committed to wellness in Revelstoke

Imogen Whale Special to the Review To say that the Camozzi sisters… Continue reading

Glimpses from Revelstoke’s past

120 Years Ago: Revelstoke Herald, May 25, 1898 The local citizens celebrated… Continue reading

Just for Kicks Dance Studio in Revelstoke wows at year end recital

Just for Kicks Dance Studio performed their year end recital last week… Continue reading

Revelstoke’s Pipe Mountain Coaster set to open for May Long

Friday will mark the third opening day for The Pipe Mountain Coaster… Continue reading

Who to call about wildlife encounters in Revelstoke

Revelstoke is now entering the season where bears are accessing urban spaces… Continue reading

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Olympic gold medallist returns to Summerland

Justin Kripps brought his gold medal to Summerland Secondary Thursday

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

‘White-nose syndrome’ has killed millions of bats in North America, but hasn’t arrived in B.C. yet

Are B.C.’s gas prices enough to keep you from travelling May long weekend?

Gas prices in B.C. ranging from 125 cents per litre to more than 150 cents

Most Read