A crossroads employee directs traffic along Hwy 1 Frontage Rd on Friday, Jan. 24 during a highway closure. Claire Palmer/Star Photo.

Golden’s unsung heroes help keep traffic flowing along Highway 1

At the height of winter, highway closures on Highway 1 can prove to be a nuisance for many.

Working behind the scenes of every road closure is Crossroads Hwy Services, which handles traffic control on the highways within a one-hour radius of Golden. They work to keep traffic flowing as best as possible.

“We do our best to manage the traffic out there, on both sides of the roads,” said Marilyn Thorn, owner and operator of Crossroads.

When Crossroads gets the call that there was a highway closure, Thorn initially dispatches four of her people to direct traffic. Depending on how severe the closure is, she then sends additional traffic controllers, which can sometimes include eight people. Crossroads is also dispatched to Donald to catch the local traffic between there.

“It’s all about teamwork, we can’t handle these closures unless we have teamwork,” said Thorn. “We all get there to manage the traffic as fast as we can to get control of the parking right away, because it can be lost very easily.”

When the highway closes, Crossroads will divert semi-trucks to park along Highway 1 Frontage Road as they wait for it to reopen. Problems begin to arise when there are too many trucks, which brings them into town, where Crossroads has no jurisdiction.

According to Thorn, they’re already working out a plan with the Town of Golden on how to manage the influx of parked trucks and vehicles on the side roads in case this happens. Normally, Tuesday is the busiest day for truck traffic, a day that has been nicknamed ‘Trucker Tuesday’ by Crossroads.

“We’re happy to say that the fire department is coming to help manage traffic when the roads are full and to help manage traffic on the street,” said Thorn. “We’re working on a plan for how to make sure that we’re not going to have that much semi traffic in Golden anymore.”

One of the most difficult parts of traffic control is the variability in highway re-opening times. When DriveBC announces the road will re-open at 2 p.m., vehicles will start to line up at quarter to in preparation. The trouble comes when the re-opening is delayed and vehicles are stuck waiting in line.

Sometimes their job is complicated by trucks getting stuck on Golden Hill or Five Mile Hill and are unable to move.

Thorn said this year in particular has been busy, in comparison to the last few years.

“There’s been a phenomenal amount of road closures, it’s been a different kind of winter this year,” said Thorn. “Last year in December we had two road closures, this year we’ve had 10.”

Road closures are often caused by avalanche risks and accidents. Thorn said to avoid accidents, it’s imperative that drivers slow down and are wary of the winter driving conditions. Having proper snow tires also helps.

Thorn said she also believes that the increase in traffic along the highway in the last few years have contributed to the higher number of accidents and subsequent closures.

trans-canada highway

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sexual assault stories from treeplanting camps ‘shocking but not surprising’

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Angel Flights looking to spread its wings and service in East Kootenays

Angel Flights is a free service that takes patients from the East Kootenays to Kelowna

Kicking Horse conditions update, Thursday February 27

Kicking Horse reports 1 cm of new snow in the last 24… Continue reading

Golden highway update, Thursday February 27

DriveBC reports slippery sections between Beaverfoot Rd and Field, just east of… Continue reading

Interior Health leading the way with innovative therapy for stroke patients

Percentage of ischemic stroke patients who received treatment has risen dramatically

Toddler killed in Squamish grocery store parking lot

Child’s mother taken to hospital but her condition is not known

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Trans Canada east of Revelstoke to be closed overnight

The highway will reopen at 10 a.m. Feb. 29

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Most Read