A project to construct a roundabout at the junction of Highway 5 and Clearwater Valley Road will be tendered in the next week, according to a media release from the BC Liberal government caucus. It is anticipated that work will begin this spring, with completion scheduled for the fall.
“While there have been some concerns expressed about the project, extensive public consultation revealed a high level of support and I am confident that Clearwater will benefit from this significant investment in traffic safety,” said MLA Terry Lake.
Proponents say the roundabout will calm traffic through the corridor and beautify the eastern entrance to the community of Clearwater and the main access route to Wells Gray Provincial Park.
Highway 5 is a major provincial trade and tourism route linking British Columbia with Alberta. Because of this, the roundabout will be able to accommodate the large commercial vehicles, including wide loads, that use the Yellowhead corridor.
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure consulted extensively with the British Columbia Trucking Association and its Heavy Haul Committee, revising the design to accommodate the needs of the heavy haulers.
The revised design was presented to the community at open houses in Clearwater on Feb. 7, to favourable response.
In response to feedback received at the open houses, work within the project will be staged to minimize any inconvenience for any tourists visiting the region, as well as local residents, during peak tourist season.
Roundabouts reduce speed and reduce the frequency of significant injuries due to rear-end, T-bone and head-on collisions that typically occur at signalized intersections.
Roundabouts see 35 per cent fewer crashes, 90 per cent fewer vehicle fatalities and 76 per cent fewer vehicle-related injuries than traditional signalized intersections.