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

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

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

Gas prices jumped in Golden to 131.9c this week, a trend that’s supposed to continue into the summer. (Claire Palmer/Golden Star)
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Clovechok concerned as gas prices continue to rise

Fuel prices are supposed to skyrocket this summer as British Columbians await BCUC analysis

(PQB News file photo)
CSRD makes changes to yard waste tipping fee

The change will help standardize tipping fees for yard waste

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The Okanagan’s first virtual wedding fair will be held Saturday, March 27. {Paul Rodgers photo)
Okanagan to host virtual wedding fair

Okanagan wine country is No. 1 destination for weddings - online event set for March 27

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Pastafarian Gary Smith, pictured here dressed as a pirate, wanted to wear his tricorn (also pictured here) in his driver’s licence photo, arguing that the display was a religious observance. Photo: Facebook
B.C. Pastafarian loses Supreme Court fight to wear pirate hat in driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith of Grand Forks, put his case to the Supreme Court in Rossland in early February

A student from Dawson Creek is the winner of Tolko’s Orange Shirt Day design contest for 2021. (Tolko photo)
Tolko contest features northern winner

Student from Dawson Creek beats out entries Canadawide for Orange Shirt Day design contest win

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

The Vernon Public Art Gallery's new Regional Reach program which sends supplies and lessons to classes, has been a hit in the North Okanagan classrooms. (VPAG photo)
Travelling art kit a hit in North Okanagan schools

Art Gallery’s new Regional Reach program delivers art education to the classrooms

A kaleidescope of colours was captured over Lake Country Sunday, Feb. 28. (Wendey Innes-Shaw photo)
Colourful close to month with North Okanagan sunset

From all angles: Vernon and Lake Country photographers capture sunset Feb. 28

City council passed resolution in support of an expansion of the licence area at Salmon Arm’s Marionette Winery for the inclusion of a lounge area. (Marionette Winery/Facebook)
Salmon Arm council supports lounge addition at Shuswap winery

Marionette Winery expanding licence area to host small gatherings

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility’s COVID-10 outbreak has been declared over by Interior Health. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID outbreak at Vernon’s Noric House declared over

10 deaths were linked to the outbreak at long-term care facility

(File photo)
UBCO introduces another reading break in November

The break only affects the Okanagan campus

Most Read