December 8, 2015 – Planning work is about to start for a potential new passing lane on Highway 19 between Campbell River and Sayward on B.C.’s Vancouver Island.
Highway 19 is a key corridor for goods movement and tourism on the North Island with many commercial and recreational vehicles travelling this route. This planning project will look at where a passing lane would provide the most benefit so that passing can be done safely on this important North Island corridor.
“Improving highway safety, capacity and mobility is a major component of our 10-year transportation plan, B.C. on the Move,” said Todd Stone, minister of transportation and infrastructure. “We want to keep people and goods moving on Highway 19. That’s why we are starting the planning now for more passing opportunities between Campbell River and Sayward.”
Approximately 2,000 vehicles travel this route each day, of which 15 per cent are slow moving vehicles such as commercial and recreational traffic. Planning work will include identification of possible sites for future passing areas, considering passing needs in both directions. The planning is estimated to cost $100,000.
“A new passing lane will be a great addition to Highway 19 to help local residents, truck drivers, and tourists travel more efficiently, and arrive safely to their destinations,” said Comox Valley MLA Don McRae. “Many commercial trucks and recreational vehicles are travelling this route, and drivers get frustrated when they are stuck behind a slower moving vehicle. A new passing lane will enable drivers to safely pass the slower moving vehicles, boosting safety and mobility on this stretch of highway.”
In addition, work is now complete on a $1.8 million cycling safety improvement project in the community of Sayward. Crews have added 1.2 metre wide shoulders to 11 km of Sayward Road to improve cycling safety along this stretch of two-lane roadway. The work started in July and was completed in October.
“The Sayward Rd. paved shoulder widening project completed this summer means both cyclists and pedestrians can now safely share this important transportation link with automobiles,” said John MacDonald, mayor of the Village of Sayward. “The shoulder widening project promotes alternative transportation uses, healthy lifestyles and public safety which are values important to both the Village of Sayward and the Province of British Columbia. Mayor and council appreciate the strong commitment the Province has made to the residents of the Village of Sayward and Sayward Valley in funding this important initiative.”
As well, three kilometres of highway shoulders were widened and paved with rumble strips along Highway 19 in the Roberts Lake area to better accommodate cyclists, tying in to the existing paved shoulders approximately 30 kilometres north of Campbell River.
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