New passing lane completed near Jaffray
A new westbound passing lane on Highway 3 west of Jaffray is complete, improving traffic flow, capacity and safety on the busy route.
“Investments in road infrastructure are key to connecting communities and ensuring adequate access to goods and services,” said Carla Qualtrough, federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, on behalf of Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “The Government of Canada has invested $3 million in this project, which will help manage traffic volume, improve road safety for motorists and cyclists, and reduce travel times. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”
Highway 3 is a vital east-west trade route for goods and services and provides important access to communities for people living in the area. Traffic volumes on the route are high, with an average of 4,700 vehicles per day, and up to 5,500 vehicles in the summer, according to a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure media release.
“Highway 3 is an extremely important roadway and people rely on it to travel all the way from the Alberta border to Hope,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “This will ease traffic in the East Kootenay and will save travellers valuable time, while keeping them safe.”
The new two-kilometre passing lane will address congestion by providing a safe passing option and will result in saved time for residents, commercial drivers and tourists. Cyclists will also benefit from a two-metre wide paved shoulder.
A wildlife tunnel is being built as part of the project and will provide safety for dozens of species of wildlife in the area that regularly cross the highway. One kilometre of wildlife fencing will also be installed to help funnel wildlife through the safe crossing and minimize interactions with traffic.
This $9-million project was funded by the Government of Canada ($3 million through the New Building Canada Fund, Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component) and the Province of B.C. ($6 million).
Lead image: Construction work on Highway 3 west of Jaffray during autumn 2020. e-KNOW file photo