Dear Editor:

Lowering the speed limit on Hwy 95 in the Edgewater area

When the four-year Kicking Horse Canyon highway project was announced, the public was told that there would be six week-long closures of the TCH each spring and fall. This would result in rerouting of all Highway 1 traffic along Highways 93 and 95. Without any public consultation, the Ministry of Transportation has now increased this closure time to over nine weeks, from Sept. 28 to Dec. 1. In addition, the plan is to close the highway for extended periods of time through most of December. 

Before the closure started, there were calls to lower the speed limit on Highway 95, particularly in the Edgewater area. Unlike the other communities of Brisco, Spillimacheen and Parson between Radium and Golden in which the speed limit has been posted at 80 km/h for years, the speed limit through Edgewater is 100 km/h. This is despite the fact that over 20 private driveways, access to a golf course and several public roads intersect the highway in this area.  

In the past few weeks, there have been at least three accidents involving semi transport trucks in the area. In two instances, the trucks went off the road and in the third instance, one semi rear ended another. These accidents suggest strongly that some truckers are driving too fast. This is possibly related to the fact that this detour adds approximately 1.5 hours to the travel time between Golden and Castle Junction. Although there have been no human fatalities so far, the death toll for wildlife has been substantial. Everything from fawns to a grizzly have been slaughtered.

The Ministry of Transportation has been requested by private individuals and by our regional elected officials Gerry Wilkie from Area G and Clara Reinhardt from Radium to take into consideration the requests of the people living along this corridor and to lower the limit to 80 km/h. All requests have fallen on deaf ears leading to frustration and anger among Edgewater residents. This is unacceptable. What will it take for some action on this request? A human death?

We are calling on you as our provincial representative to please contact the Ministry of Transportation and request that they immediately lower the speed limit in the Edgewater area to 80 km/h and to consult with the local area residents before making any further extensions to the Highway 1 closure.

Norm and Loni Funnell, Edgewater