An air ambulance touches down at the Balmoral intersection after a crash that closed Highway 1 in both directions in February of this year. (Kim Jolley photo)

Plan for Balmoral/Highway 1 intersection to be unveiled in spring

Ministry working on design to improve safety at dangerous crossing

Later in the spring, the public will get a look at options for improvements to the Balmoral/Highway 1 intersection.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure described its plan in an email.

“We are currently completing some initial design work and assessing various options to improve the safety performance at this intersection. The ministry expects public consultation to occur on these options later this spring.”

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

The email said that after members of the South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce identified safety concerns, ministry staff met with them to further discuss options.

Mark Lane, a member of the chamber and owner of Dreamcycle Motorcycle Museum in Sorrento, said the organization has been advocating for improvements for about two years. He said he’s aware of two crashes already this year, but the busy summer time is usually when most accidents occur.

Read more: Vehicle leaves road at Balmoral intersection near Blind Bay

A petition with 4,500 signatures was collected after a motorcyclist was killed at the intersection in Sept. 2018. Lane says a meeting was held with the ministry that autumn, where the chamber saw a couple of design proposals but they weren’t good.

“At this point we don’t know exactly what they’re going to propose… What the end plan they might come up with, nobody’s seen it yet. So until we see the plan, it’s hard to say if we’re for or against it.”

Robin Johnson, co-owner of Sprokkets Café, also near the intersection, says there are lots of accidents.

“The majority of the accidents are people going across the highway… and they don’t see people coming.”

She says she always drives around via the frontage road.

“I don’t drive across the intersection. It’s not worth it when it’s busy,” she says, noting the alternative takes only a minute.


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