13 recommendations made for improvements at intersection of Humboldt Broncos bus crash
The Saskatchewan government said all 13 recommendations from a report on the intersection of highways 35 and 335 will be implemented.
The intersection was the site of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash that left 16 people dead and injured 13 others.
The government commissioned the study by an independent engineering firm to review the geometric, collision, traffic, and human factor characteristics of the intersection.
“The results of this review will have an implication on other intersections around the province,” said Saskatchewan’s deputy highways minister Fred Antunes.
Among the 13 recommendations made by McElhanney Consulting Services in the report released Wednesday are improving sight lines and adding rumble strips on Highway 335.
The report noted the Ministry of Highways removed trees within its right-of-way in October 2018, and the ones “remaining are located on private property and would require negotiation with the land owner to remove.”
“We like to build relationships with people, so we want to have a relationship and talk to the landlord and come to something that will work for both of us,” Antunes said.
Adding milled rumble strips would give Highway 335 all “the stop control enhancement recommended by (the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure),” but would require repaving to provide a “deep enough surface to mill.”
WATCH: Coverage of the intersection of highways 35 and 335, site of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash
Rejected by the firm were roundabouts and a four-way stop.
McElhanney said although roundabouts can decrease collisions by up to 40 per cent, it would not be feasible at this intersection due to a traffic volume imbalance between the highways, the proximity of railway crossings, and a low collision history.
Four-way stops were rejected due to traffic volumes, and a greater risk for rear-end collisions on Highway 35.
The report also recommends moving the access road to the Cargill grain elevator south onto Highway 335.
Improvements that could be implemented quickly were given a higher priority in the implementation strategy.
Those include various sign-related enhancements, pavement messages, and constructing a new roadside memorial and access road.
The province is also adding stop and stop ahead pavement markings, as well as larger signs.
“We don’t do that right now, it’s done in Alberta, this is being done for the first time at this intersection,” Antunes said.
“Now that we’re doing that, we’ll look at that as a future enhancement at other intersections.”
Many of the safety improvements will get underway this winter, with rumble strips slated for summer 2019.
Safety measures added at the crash site so far include reducing the speed limit to 60 kilometres per hour, and allowing for increased safety as people stop to pay respects at the memorial site for the 16 victims.
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