The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has invested nearly $6 million in safety and efficiency upgrades for the Sea-to-Sky Highway this year, improving travel for vehicles, tour buses, and other commercial vehicles, as well as for cyclists.
“The Sea-to-Sky Highway is a state-of-the-art highway design, with safety as the highest consideration. In 2009, the government completed the $600-million Sea-to-Sky Highway Improvement Project with significant improvements along this corridor, which have made this vital route a much safer and more reliable connection to the communities of Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton and beyond,” said West Vancouver-Sea-to-Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. “Since the completion of the upgrade project, the ongoing focus has been on ensuring that safety and capacity continues to be maintained to the highest standard along this popular and scenic route.”
The following safety and efficiency upgrades are now completed:
- $4-million resurfacing of 5.8 kilometres of the Sea-to-Sky, from Wedgemount north towards Pemberton
- $840,000 for a new northbound left turning lane for traffic turning into the Whistler Heliport from the highway, including a new retaining wall
- $538,000 for a new digital message sign installed at Alice Lake for southbound traffic – to warn southbound motorists of incidents affecting the highway
- $150,000 to extend the right turn acceleration lane at Lorimer Road in Whistler
- $70,000 speed reader board and curve warning sign just north of Lions Bay
In addition, the ministry has invested $100,000 to install cycling activated digital signs to warn drivers of cyclists travelling through the Porteau Bluffs section of Highway 99, as well as an investment of $80,000 to install a new truck crossing warning light at Mamquam Forest Service Road in Squamish. The ministry has started work on these safety upgrades and these projects will be completed early in the new year.
The various highway improvements complement the now functional variable speed signs located along Highway 99 from Squamish to Function Junction, which are part of a larger pilot project to help increase safety and reduce weather-related crashes.
Whether it is extreme cold, freezing rain or heavy snowfall, an extensive system of traffic, pavement and visibility sensors are calibrated to detect the weather conditions. The digital signs are then updated to show a speed limit that adjusts to reflect driving conditions. Flashing amber lights alert drivers to adjusted speeds, which are enforceable by police. There are 16 variable speed signs located along the Sea-to-Sky from Squamish to Function Junction.
The ministry invested $12.5 million to install and run the variable speed signs, one of three pilot projects thoughout the province. This pilot program is part of the ministry's $25-million per-year Road Safety Improvement Program, as announced in B.C. on the Move.
B.C. on the Move is government’s 10-year plan for the improvement of the province’s transportation network. Over the next three years, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will invest $2.7 billion to improve B.C.’s transportation network.