Dangerous situation will only get worse unless it’s fixed
Letter to the Editor
There is an area on the south end of Elkford at what is called the “S Curves” that is unsafe and has been an ongoing problem for a couple of years now.
There is a low spot on the shoulder next to the highway on the north heading side, just past the gravel road access. It initially was noticed at the beginning of last winter after numerous cars went into the ditch in that area after the first snowfall and has gotten progressively worse.
When you come around the corner, especially in winter, it is not noticeable where the pavement ends when it is snow covered. When a driver hits that section, it pulls you towards the ditch. The first instinct is to correct which then sends that vehicle across the oncoming traffic lane. If you can’t correct in time, you go down the hill into the ditch.
When first noticed I contacted Mainroads and told them what the issue was and that it needed to be addressed. They have had over a year to fix it and it still has not been done.
The solution at the beginning of this winter was to place delineator posts around the corner. The posts are now toppled from them plowing snow and buried.
Three days ago after the first major snowfall in a while, you could see tracks where people had driven off the paved area onto the shoulder and tried to correct. Zig zag tracks going across the highway where they were trying to regain control. A friend who used to work for Mainroads called the supervisor and told him the posts were down and not visible, people were hitting the low section and losing control.
I called the RCMP right after and spoke to them, expressing it was a dangerous situation and someone is eventually going to be badly hurt or die there. The dispatcher told me that they did not have the manpower to deal with the situation but that she would contact Mainroads and tell them it should be addressed. I don’t believe she did that.
The cones are still buried in the ditch, nothing has been done.
This morning my husband drove to work in the industrial park. There is another vehicle in the ditch there and tracks all over the highway. He called the RCMP and ended up hanging up on them as they said it’s not their business. I called the District of Elkford office and explained that even though Highway 43 is not their responsibility, the citizens in this town are. If they could at least put pylons or something out.
After writing this letter, I am once again going to contact Mainroads. They need to deal with this before someone does die. It is literally an accident waiting to happen.
This email has also been sent to MLA Tom Shypitka, The Mayor and Council of Elkford and Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting Ltd.
Editor’s note: Following publication the letter writer provided a brief update, noting: “we have since been contacted by the mayor of Elkford as well as one of the RCMP members and advised cones and a flashing light will be installed. When I drove past this morning there was signage there. The ministry of transportation is supposed to now be addressing it.”