By Steve Hubrecht
[email protected]

Provincial contractors and officials involved with the Kicking Horse Canyon project presented to the Radium council recently.

The project representatives outlined plans for the next (fourth) phase of the project, and the TransCanada closure it entails, from April 19 to May 20, which will send another huge surge of traffic to the Columbia Valley.

Radium councillors posed many questions about the risks involved in the traffic rerouting, with Councillor Mike Grey noting that many local Columbia Valley residents are afraid to drive on Highway 93 South through Kootenay National Park during the diversions.

“A lot of the TransCanada is the same type of two-lane road (as Highway 93 South). And unfortunately you do see that same bad driver behaviour you’re seeing now in the park on the two lane parts of the TransCanada,” said provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) representative Mike Lorimer. “There is no question it is happening. There is some bad behaviour out there, in terms of semi and passenger vehicles that is not safe.”

Lorimer suggested enforcement officers such as the RCMP need to be tough on that kind of behaviour.

Radium Mayor Clara Reinhardt asked if there is an extra danger to school buses whose routes fall along highways used by the rerouted traffic. 

“To my knowledge, nothing out of the ordinary,” replied Lorimer. 

MOTI representative Arthur McClean said he had followed school buses down Highway 95 and observed bad driver behaviour, but that such behaviour existed before the TransCanada closures.

“So not good news in the sense that there is bad behaviour, but good news in the sense that things are not getting worse for school buses with the detour,” said Reinhardt.