The list of road projects to be carried out this summer by the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) includes Cranbrook's first roundabout at the top of Victoria Avenue.
Jack Bennetto, district manager for the MOTI's Rocky Mountain district, spoke to the Regional District of East Kootenay board of directors on Friday, April 4, about the ministry's scheduled projects for 2014. Among the list are several that impact on Cranbrook.
Bennetto said the ministry has started preliminary designs for a roundabout — which would be the first in the City of Cranbrook — at the intersection of Victoria Avenue and 13th Street South. The road lies at the boundary of the city, with the intersection just inside the regional district, thus making it the MOTI's responsibility.
"It's an accident location," said Bennetto. "So we would like to move forward with a roundabout there. I'm not sure we will be able to construct that this year but we will be completing the design and working with the city to see what we can do next."
Also in Cranbrook, the ministry is planning to conduct analysis of crosswalks on the strip.
"Some of those are in unsafe locations — they might be good for a pedestrian who wants to walk across but they are not so good for their safety where it is. There are also some connection issues — there are nice trails in Cranbrook but those don't always connect with a crosswalk. So those kinds of things will be analyzed with the City of Cranbrook," said Bennetto.
Just outside Cranbrook, the ministry has a contract out now for the resurfacing of Highway 95A from the Cranbrook overpass to Echo Field Road.
“We also will be replacing the culvert for a bottomless culvert at Joseph Creek as part of the big project, which is in need of being done and will also help the fish situation,” said Bennetto.
Other resurfacing projects that will go ahead this summer include Highway 3 from Ha Ha Creek Road to Wardner Bridge, and Highway 93/95 from Wasa Junction to Skookumchuck.
Meanwhile, the ministry is focusing also on side roads this summer, with plans to resurface parts of Wardner Fort Steele Road near Bull River Road, Kikomun Newgate Road to Koocanusa, and Jaffray Baynes Lake Road around the four corners.
MOTI will work on deck joint bearing design for both Wardner Bridge and Wasa Bridge this year.
And a cyclist warning system will be installed at the Elko Tunnel.
“As everyone knows, it’s a narrow tunnel. That should help people who ride their bicycles through there,” said Bennetto.
The ministry will be using parts of Highway 3 to test out a new system of line painting this year, focusing on the route from Cranbrook to the Alberta border, said Bennetto.
“We’ve had a lot of complaints and concern about our line painting. The lines don’t last that long in our winter period, primarily because we are using environmentally friendly paints. They don’t last as long as the good old chemical ones. So we have changed our contracts for some other options. We are going to try a few test locations with bigger paint lines on sections of Highway 3,” he said.
“We hope we have some progress and it works better and then we can apply some other decisions based on that.”