Safety upgrades on track for Lake Country route
Action is being taken to alleviate motorists’ concerns about Highway 97 in Lake Country.
The Ministry of Transportation is initiating upgrades to the exits and entrances from the upper-level highway at both ends of Pelmewash Parkway, the old highway.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Owen Dickie, a Lake Country councillor.
The primary concern had been that vehicles trying to get off Pelmewash Parkway and on to Highway 97 south cannot see the highway traffic until the merge lane is almost used up.
To improve sight distance as vehicles merge on to the highway from the parkway, the ministry is going to remove an existing dirt bank and possibly some concrete barriers.
For improved driver awareness, merge ahead signs will be installed.
In addition, the ministry has already removed the 70-kilometre-an-hour ahead sign 100 metres north to allow southbound traffic more time to slow down before the merge.
Beyond the south end of the highway, concerns were raised about the north end where it meets up with Pelmewash Parkway, and specifically a tight corner and high rate of speed.
In this area, the ministry will install an exit 30 kilometres an hour sign for motorists going on to Pelmewash Parkway from the highway.
To improve driver awareness as vehicles prepare to access the highway travelling from Pelmewash going north, the ministry has already installed reflectors and may possibly install a speed warning sign.
There will also be signs to let motorists know about the upcoming corner.
“The ministry will monitor the results of the changes and if more needs to be done, hopefully they will consider that,” said Dickie.
“There’s been enough of a groundswell of public complaints so they recognized there had to be a response.”