Safety improvements coming for dangerous highway intersection

Stickle Road and Highway 97 intersection just north of Vernon.

There will not be a new traffic light signals when safety improvements are made to a crash-prone highway intersection near Vernon.

Instead, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will make design changes to the Stickle Road intersection just north of the city.

In a news release, minister Todd Stone said the decision follows a third-party safety study and extensive community engagement.

“Given that many of the comments we received indicated a preference for a traffic signal to be installed, the ministry asked an independent road safety expert to compare the ministry’s design with a traffic signal,” said Stone.

“While both improvement options were considered, the report concluded that a traffic signal is not supported as it would further increase the risk of rear-end collisions and delay traffic.”

Safety improvements coming for dangerous highway intersection - image

The report found light signals at the intersection could reduce overall crashes by five per cent but rear-end collisions could increase substantially.

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The ministry says its chosen “restricted movement configurations” could lower total crash numbers by 20 per cent.

The safety improvements at the intersection include extending left turn lanes, installing acceleration and deceleration lanes and removing the left turn onto the highway.

A new road will also be built to connect the south end of the Stickle Frontage Road to 20th Street in Vernon.

The estimated cost of the project is $9.5 million while traffic signal improvements would cost about $7.8 million.

Detailed design work is underway and the ministry expects to tender the project early next year.

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