Variable speed limit signs will be in operation in the coming days on a section of Highway 3 east of Hope.
The system will be put in place to allow the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to lower speeds on a section of the highway during bad weather.
There are currently variable speed limit signs in place on the Coquihalla from Portia Interchange to the former Toll Plaza, on Highway 1 from Perry to Revelstoke, and on the Sea to Sky from Squamish to Function Junction in Whistler.
The $25-million project includes the Highway 3 variable speed limit signs, as well as the installation of a new congestion-based variable speed limit system on Highway 1 between Sumas River Bridge in Abbotsford and Prest Road overpass in Chilliwack.
The Highway 1 system in the Fraser Valley is currently in the testing phase, a system that was initially supposed to be in place by the summer, but now won’t be in place until early 2020.
That system will show a varying speed limit on signs installed between the Sumas River Bridge and Prest Road overpass, depending on congestion. It’s hoped the system will cut down on the large number of rear-enders in the heavily travelled corridor.
The Highway 3 variable speed limit system uses data from road surface sensors and traffic sensors to recommend lower speeds during adverse conditions. Four new signs are located along seven kilometres of Highway 3 between Hope and the Highway 3/5 junction. One sign in each direction also features a digital message to provide drivers with additional information when the speed limits are lowered.
“Keeping people safe on our roads is our top priority,” Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said in a government press release. “Weather conditions can change very quickly where the highway starts climbing from the Fraser Valley towards the mountains. That’s why we are bringing in this new variable speed limit system, which allows us to slow traffic down and improve safety on Highway 3 this winter.”
Drivers are reminded that the speed limit shown on the sign is the maximum speed allowed and is enforceable under the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act.