Columbia River – Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok says there is a stakeholders meeting planned to address public safety and wildlife protection on Highways 93 and 95 as another detour from the Kicking Horse Canyon project has been announced for this spring.
Highway 95 runs down from Golden to Radium and then Hwy 93 takes people through Kootenay National and Banff parks and back out to Hwy 1 and on to Calgary.
Clovechok says the Kootenay Park region was hit hard this past November as heavy snowfalls caused road closures. And with traffic increasing dramatically on Hwys 93 and 95 due to Hwy 1 closure, safety issues are rising.
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok and RDEK Area G Director Gerry Wilkie have convened the stakeholders meeting for February 1 to discuss further measures to improve public safety and wildlife protection.
“This meeting will focus on what happened, what worked, what didn’t work and what can be done better,” Clovechok said.
He says they want to talk about what went well and what to do moving forward into the next detour period.
There were increased wildlife collisions, egress difficulties for people living along the highway, problems for school buses stopping in the heavy traffic, people passing on double lines etc.
“People are putting a lot of work into looking at this,” he said. “Highway 93 and 95 were not built for that amount of traffic, but this is a question of short term pain for long term gain. We’ve got to get that Kicking Horse project complete.”
He says he doesn’t know for sure but he guesses that the detour announced for this spring won’t be the last one before the project is complete, and therefore it makes sense to look at what the issues were in the last detour period and work on improvements going forward.
Representatives from local government, The Regional District, Parks Canada, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement, and RCMP will participate.