The Balmoral Intersection is getting an update that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says will improve safety. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Photo)

The Balmoral Intersection is getting an update that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says will improve safety. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Photo)

Plan chosen for safety upgrades at Balmoral intersection

Once the project is complete no left turns onto Highway 1 at Balmoral will be allowed.

The B.C. government is moving forward with a reconfiguration of the Balmoral Road intersection west of Salmon Arm in hopes of improving safety for motorists.

The Highway 1 intersection has been the site of numerous crashes in the past, so the changes are designed to stop drivers from crossing the intersection in the ways which resulted in most of the collisions.

The changes will still allow left turns off the highway onto Balmoral Road with a protected left-turn bay. The other option which was considered by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure would have eliminated all left turns onto and off the highway. Both options considered restricted travel across the highway on Balmoral Raod using barricades.

Read More: Province proposes improvements for Balmoral Road/Highway 1 intersection

Read More: Air ambulance called to Highway 1 collision west of Salmon Arm

The changes come with good reason; according to MOTI data, 70 per cent of collisions at the intersection over the past 10 years have involved a vehicle turning left onto the highway or travelling straight across the highway.

The construction option selected was the ministry’s preferred option going into the public consultation process, which took the form of an open house and online feedback collection. The ministry states it best balances the need for safety while still providing access to Balmoral Road.

To access Balmoral Road on the opposite side of the highway, drivers will have to use the nearby underpass.

The ministry states additional funding has also been approved to include highway acceleration lanes, both eastbound and westbound from the Balmoral intersection. A press release states the request for acceleration lanes was regularly requested in the feedback the ministry received.

Read More: Update: Police say alcohol not a factor in Balmoral crash

Read More: Letter: Go back to drawing board on Highway 1/Balmoral Road intersection

The ministry expects construction to begin in late September and be complete in November. Minor delays can be expected but, according to the ministry, one lane of the highway in both directions will be maintained throughout construction.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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