Question: What do you get when you cross a railway track with a highway?
Answer: A place that requires extra motorist attention to avoid a deadly encounter; and in the case of Mile 28 on Highway 16, a stretch where drivers must slow from 100 km/h to 40 km/h to cross safely.
But the scenario is poised to become a whole lot safer and smoother, at this last remaining spot on BC Highway 16 where traffic and trains meet. A beautiful transformation is beginning (at least for transportation nerds like us, it’s beautiful!)
Here’s how… In Spring 2017, construction is expected to start on a new 120-metre-long bridge that will carry traffic over the CN railway line. Two kilometres of highway leading to the crossing will be re-aligned to straighten out an S-curve. At the same time, we’ll be widening driving lanes and shoulders, and doing lots of rock bolting to further boost safe travel. Plus, we’ll have more snow storage area, which lessens the possibility of winter highway closures.
Take a look at the video – we think the future is looking lovely for this scenic route: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MfbUzAKYws
You`ll find fetching photos in our Flickr album too!
Vehicles must slow to 40 km/h as they approach the tracks.
Trains carrying container freight via the Port of Prince Rupert.
The changes will be a big boon for residents, commercial truck drivers, tourists and industrial traffic (including to and from the Port of Prince Rupert) enabling them to safely travel at the posted limit of 100 km/h (conditions permitting) along the stretch, located 45 km from Prince Rupert.
Not only is the project going to improve the route for drivers, but it’s also friendly to the environment. Work will avoid rare mature and old growth forests, and minimize impacts to nesting bird areas, and mountain goat and moose winter habitat. Once Highway 16 is relocated, away from the Skeena River, the original stretch will be removed and replanted. Added bonus: two culverts to increase access to fish habitat will also be built.
Open houses in July 2016, and consultation with First Nations, key stakeholders, and the public have given us valuable feedback on how to manage highway traffic and access to a popular boat launch, during construction. We`ll continue to consult with them as the project unfolds.