Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is looking at installing a roundabout as an option for the corner of Highway 5 and the road to Wells Gray Park, according to Bart Chenuz, area roads manager.
However, it appears there are quite a few hoops that need to be jumped through before that will happen.
“The project is in the development phase with many more milestones along the way, including right-of-way acquisition, First Nations consultation, environmental assessment and final design, to name a few,” he said.
“Once those milestones are passed successfully the ministry will place it on its priority list for future funding requests for construction.”
Chenuz said staff from the ministry met with mayor and council in February and presented a conceptual plan for a two-lane roundabout at Highway 5 and Clearwater Valley/Park Roads. Mayor and council endorsed the concept.
He noted that the ministry is working with District of Clearwater to enhance the gateway to Wells Gray Provincial Park and Clearwater.
As reported earlier in the Times, part of the proposal for the Clearwater Valley Road junction would be to have signs or displays to mark the turnoff to Wells Gray Park in the center of the roundabout.
According to Wikipedia, modern roundabouts were invented in the United Kingdom about 50 years ago. Statistically, they are safer for both traffic and pedestrians than older-style traffic circles or traditional intersections.
Questions that have been raised by some local residents about the proposal include the amount of land that would be needed for a roundabout large enough to safely accommodate trucks traveling along the highway and how safe it would actually be with so few North Americans familiar on how to negotiate it.