Agencies working on new highway closure protocol

City of Revelstoke CAO responds to editorial about highway closure chaos.

Editor,

Your editorial “Who’s responsible for traffic control” (August 13, 2014) echoes the exasperation of both the public and officials of the all too frequent negative impacts of Trans-Canada Highway incidents.

I am confident that the outcomes from the multi-agency stakeholders meeting held last week will help the agencies craft more effective strategies to collectively manage Trans-Canada Highway closure impacts. These traffic management challenges are a result of accidents, weather conditions, avalanche and landslide incidents as well as traffic congestion on the Trans Canada Highway. Several agencies are working collaboratively to find short term solutions to minimize motorist frustration.

Planning is well underway to implement improvements. The City of Revelstoke’s Engineer, Mike Thomas, will be reporting to council in the near future on an action plan for Trans-Canada Highway traffic impacts. This will be a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional plan. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Parks Canada, RCMP, HMC (highways maintenance contractor) and the City of Revelstoke are all involved. Other communities are also impacted.

Refining the traffic management challenges is important, but it does not address the core long-term problem — the deficiency of the Trans Canada Highway. The provincial and federal Governments have made significant  improvements recently and they have also made further funding commitments for  highway improvements.

This fall, at the Union of British Columbia annual meeting, the City of Revelstoke will again meet and continue to lobby senior governments for further funding commitments for Trans-Canada Highway improvements.

Sincerely,

Tim Palmer, CAO,

City of Revelstoke