Highway to work with city on corridor issues

The Ministry of Transportation and infrastructure confirmed last week the safety audit of the proposed intersection changes on Highway 97.

The Ministry of Transportation and infrastructure confirmed last week the safety audit of the proposed intersection changes on Highway 97 at Carson and Toop was done independently by a consultant hired by the ministry to make recommendations.

At its Oct. 7 regular meeting council voted against a safety audit recommendation to close southbound access at Western Avenue onto the highway.

Responding to the decision, the ministry said the recommendations of the audit are not binding, and that it will continue to work with the city on the project and address safety concerns through this highway corridor.

When asked why the audit suggested the closure, the ministry said  the southbound entry to Highway 97 at Western Avenue does not meet the minimum spacing between intersections on a major highway, even though it is in an urban environment.

“Drivers on Highway 97 are not expecting cars coming onto the highway at that location as they will have just passed through a major intersection,” the ministry said. “In addition, the road will be steeper after construction is completed.”