An incident last week on the steep winding section of Highway 7 closed down the road and left people without internet and cable services.

LETTER: More needs to be done to make Lougheed Highway safer

After another incident last week involving a truck carrying utility poles, changes are needed

Most residents of Agassiz know the dangerous winding hill section on the Lougheed Highway as it rises steeply from the floodplain over Mt. Woodside.

There are several warning signs, but none of them is particularly conspicuous or eye catching.

They could not make an impact because serious accidents occur on a regular basis, nearly all of them on the same bend.

We have been living here at the top of the hill for some thirty years and note that never a year passes without a serious crash on Golgotha bend, our name, blocking the highway for several hours often involving loss of life and terrible injury.

Last week’s serious accident involving a semi trailer carrying power poles closed the road for nine hours, brought down a hydro pole knocking out power to hundreds of homes to the west and cablevision to the whole of Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs.

Any motorist going over the Hope-Princeton must be impressed by the highly visible illuminated chevrons and overhead warning lights before some of the most dangerous bends which are responsible for a vast reduction of accidents at those accidents black spots.

Several requests have been made to the Department of Highways requesting similar signage with oxymoronic arguments.

“Existing signage is adequate.”

“Illuminated signs are expensive.”

“Motorists drive too fast.”

In response to these entirely logical arguments, I wonder if anyone has considered the incredible social cost of these accidents and loss of life, hurt is incalculable.

ICBC must have paid out millions for property damage over the years we have been living here.

Perhaps the time has come for ICBC to put its hand in its pocket and a goad behind the bureaucrats in the MOT to get some more effective signage at both the top and bottom of the hill.

As an aside, it is small wonder that trucks struggle on this grade because despite signs indicating an eleven percent grade, there is a short section of the highway, right at the sharpest curve, that is no less than 18%.

 

Ed Monro

 

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