Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Province Upgrades Highway 16 to Class A level

Travellers along Highway 16 from Prince Rupert to the Alberta border will soon be noticing a change in the maintenance plan for the key travel corridor of Northern British Columbia.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced today, that by mid-February Highway 16 will be designated a Class A highway and with it will come an improved schedule for maintenance and quicker response times for weather related events along the corridor. 

Transportation Minister Todd Stone made the announcement today, outlining how the change in designation will result in more frequent patrols and quicker response, with more plowing, snow removal and salt and sand applications.

Under the previous classification, outside of urban areas, attention to the highway conditions was an issue that resonated in many communities. A frequent topic of conversation as many residents expressed their concerns about travelling the highway during winter.

Conditions along the highway have been the subject of much concern this winter, particularly after a string of motor vehicle fatalities along the entire highway system from west to east. In many incidents speed and travel conditions have played a key factor in the growing number of accidents and fatalities.

Since the fall, over 20 travellers have perished on Northern British Columbia roads, many of them in the stretch between Prince George and Prince Rupert.

It was the rising fatality totals and increasing accident levels that spurred both municipal politicians and interior area MLA's to ask the Province for the change in designation. 

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