Editor, The Times:
It is great to see that the topic of Highway 5/Wells Gray Inn junction has surfaced in our local paper. (See: Question of the Week, Clearwater Times, June 18, 2015). One responder to that question, Fred Tourand, very wisely suggested an underpass. Such an intersection design was voiced in my letter to this Opinion page on September 4, 2014.
To visualize a roundabout in that location is a frightening thought. A recent conversation with a trucker who moves liquids in large tanks revealed the extreme danger of negotiating the tight turn required to remain in the proper lane. If the tank is not equipped with longitudinal baffles all of the liquid contents concentrates to the outside of the curve due to centrifugal force.
CTV News reported two recent “big rig” rollovers in Ontario, one on Highway 401 on April 14, 2015 and another, about a month later, on Highway 3. Both incidents occurred as the rigs were negotiating roundabouts.
As pointed out in my earlier submission on this topic, there seems to be great opportunity for an underpass/overpass intersection design in the area of the Wells Gray Inn. It is my opinion that such a design would easily fit somewhere a short distance south of the current intersection. That new chosen site may be very near to the present hazardous crossing, or possibly as far south as the deep cut that the highway passes through.
A roundabout on a busy through highway, with an increasing volume of traffic, and at the bottom of a hill, is asking for trouble. I invite the District of Clearwater, local business interests, and the general public to support the safer design of an underpass/overpass.
Birch Island, B.C.