A meeting was held by the Ministry of Transportation in Vanderhoof last Tuesday to discuss the need for upgrades to Highway 27.
Approximately 30 people showed up for the lunch meeting at the Village Inn including representatives from sawmills, forestry, the Mount Milligan project as well as elected people from Vanderhoof, Fort St James and the regional district.
“It was really neat to see that many people interested in the highway and making it safe,” said Mayor Gerry Thiessen, who says the lack of passing lanes on the highway is a big safety concern for many using the road.
According to Thiessen, during busy times as much as 500 truck logs of logs may be transported on the highway in one day, and the level of traffic is likely to increase in the near future.
“We do see that the highway will be used more and more in the future so there need’s to be a lot of work on it,” said Thiessen.
The meeting saw lots of participation and discussion on where it would be necessary to have passing or climbing lanes created.
One area of the highway that was clearly identified as a safety concern was around Pitka Creek Road, which is this side of Fort St. James.
“It’s a long climb for large trucks to come out and drive all the way…what happens is vehicles tend to be anxious and want to pass and that’s a safety concern,” said Thiessen.
The Ministry of Transportation will now go study the information they received during the session with their technical engineers before starting any work on the road.
“We’re confident that there’s going to be some upgrades to the road in the near future,” said Thiessen.