If all goes according to plan, the intersection with lights at Carson Drive in Williams Lake will be moved north to Toop Road.
At an open house held at city hall Wednesday, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure shared the preliminary engineering stage of the proposed plan.
Regional project manager Lisa Miller said the design consultant reviewed the planning study, conceptual options and stakeholder feedback and recommended that relocating and upgrading the signalized intersection from Carson Drive to Toop Road would best improve safety and mobility along the corridor.
The average daily traffic going through the corridor is 11,000, and up to 16,000 in the summer months, with 94 per cent being passenger vehicles and six per cent trucks.
“Traffic growth has been about .7 per cent per year between 2001 and 2010,” Miller said.
Between 2003 and 2012, there were two fatalities, 27 injuries and 43 property damage events in the vicinity.
One of the charts on display indicated 36 per cent of accidents have been 90 degree intersection types, 14 per cent were off-road right and off-road left, 13 per cent were rear-end incidents and 37 per cent were other.
Existing delays for people trying to get onto the highway is one of the reasons for reconfiguring the intersection.
“If you’re trying to turn off of Toop onto Highway 97 either left or right you’re always having some delays,” Miller said.
Changes to the roadway would include a four-lane cross section, 2.6 metre centre median, 2 metre-wide paved shoulders with curb and gutter up to Toop Road, 3.6 metre-wide lanes, a 70 kilometre and hour design speed and a roadside barrier as required.
Miller said the next steps will be to continue consultation with First Nations and stakeholders, conduct a road safety audit, and develop a detailed design that would hopefully ready by January 2014.
Once the design is completed then funding for the project will need to be secured, which Miller estimated would cost between $22 and $24 million.