Letters to the Editor: April 12

Conditions of Highway 95A: Cranbrook to Kimberley

The highway between Kimberley and Cranbrook is a disgrace. It is a combination of patchwork of filled cracks, frost heaves and droops in the pavement.

The location at Porteous Road has been a safety hazard for many years, just like the pavement dips and rises when travelling south to Cranbrook prior to crossing the McPhee Bridge (which was built in 2002).

The minor repairs on this highway have gone on for 10-15 years. This is not the fault of the highways maintenance crews whom take their orders from the ministry.

I am disgusted with Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena, whom I have contacted several times over this issue. The citizens of Cranbrook, Kimberley and the surrounding area who travel between these two cities need to know that this highway will only be patched and repaired in certain areas over the next four years. Below is a statement from Ms. Trevena.

“A permanent fix will require more extensive and complicated repairs, and this work will need to be incorporated into a larger Highway 95A resurfacing program in order to be cost effective. In order to get the most value for the public, we resurface highways near the end of their service life. Highway 95A should be resurfaced within four years, subject to funding availability.”

As we drive this disgrace of a highway, the NDP plans to build a new Pattullo Bridge, continue bridge replacements, passing lanes and pavement improvements on Highway 3 at the taxpayer’ expense. As well, Mr. Horgan’s riding will see millions of dollars in highway improvements starting this year.

Ms. Trevena is responsible for public safety on BC highways, but that must not include this stretch of highway. If you read the last four words in her email to me — “subject to funding availability”.

In these four words Ms. Trevena has provided the excuse she will use at a future date to deny Highway 95A improvements. I do not believe she cares about public safety for East Kootenay drivers. If you want to see this highway properly re-surfaced, take 5 minutes and send an email to:

Ms. Claire Trevena at minister.transportation@gov.bc.ca.

Craig Little/Cranbrook

Something every driver on our highways should remember is that: regardless of measures taken by administrators, Mother Nature can and will change conditions faster than maintenance providers can react. We must be fully aware of road conditions and drive accordingly.

Interviewed this winter while working at a major wreck on the Coquihalla, Al Quiring of Quiring Towing said ‘just because the speed limit is 120 kph that doesn’t mean you should be driving that speed’. In other words use common sense and don’t see it as your right to drive at the posted speed limit. Until all drivers do that we will continue to have wrecks and our costs will escalate regardless of what maintenance standards are imposed.

I realize that in this age of “rights”, I am hollering into an empty barrel and a lot of drivers don’t seem to use common sense. I recall an older resident of the Squamish area being asked his opinion of all the improvements made to the Sea to Sky highway prior to the Olympics. His response: “Well, they’ll be able to kill themselves at higher speeds!”

Grant Griffin/Cranbrook

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