Construction crews started work this week on a project to build new deceleration and acceleration lanes on Highway 37 South near Williams Creek, which will help park visitors safely and conveniently access Lakelse Lake Provincial Park.
Once this project is complete, the new turning lanes will enhance safety for people turning into or leaving the Gruchy’s Beach parking lot, one of three access points into Lakelse Lake Provincial Park, and those travelling along this stretch of Highway 37 South, which can see upwards of 5,000 vehicles a day in the summer months. The Gruchy’s Beach vehicle entrance is the only access point into the provincial park without turning lanes. The project is scheduled to be complete this fall, depending on weather.
Established in 1956, Lakelse Lake Provincial Park is a 354-hectare park that acts as a preserve for old growth cedar, hemlock and Sitka spruce forests. The park also offers numerous recreational amenities, including camping, picnic areas, hiking trails, beaches and a boat launch.
The Gruchy’s Beach day-use area will be closed to park visitors from Sept. 21 until late November 2020. The closure includes the parking lot and the hiking trail to Gruchy’s Beach, but does not affect the park’s other amenities via the Lakelse Lake Picnic Site and the Furlong Bay Campground.
Highway 37 provides a key north/south connection between Yukon Territory and Alaska to the north, and Terrace and Kitimat to the south, while connecting with Highway 16, a primary east/west route throughout British Columbia.
Drivers can expect minor delays of up to 20 minutes and single-lane, alternating traffic during working hours. Drivers are reminded to obey construction zone speed limits and the direction of traffic control personnel. For the most up-to-date information before travel, check: DriveBC.ca
The ministry is working closely with Binnie Construction Services Ltd. and WorkSafeBC to ensure health and safety are maintained for all workers on site.
The B.C. provincial health officer has directed construction employers to take all necessary precautions to minimize the risks of COVID-19 transmission and illness to themselves and their employees. Anyone exhibiting COVID-19 like symptoms, such as sore throat, fever, sneezing or coughing will be directed to self-isolate at home for at least 10 days.
For travel precautions due to COVID-19, visit: http://ow.ly/jBGu50yVMRO
For information on Lakelse Lake Provincial Park, visit: http://bcparks.ca/explore/parkpgs/lakelse_lk/