The British Columbia government outlined a new safety improvement plan for the Sea to Sky Highway through the community of Lions Bay, which includes the installation of 1.4 kilometres of concrete median barrier.

This section of highway is four-lane and is currently divided by a landscaped median. The ministry has received feedback from the local community that it would like to see a concrete median barrier placed along this segment to improve safety for motorists. Once installed, the concrete median barrier will improve safety on this busy stretch of Highway 99 by preventing head-on collisions and other crossover accidents.

“The ministry has worked closely with the local municipality of Lions Bay to find ways to improve safety for the travelling public along this stretch of the Sea to Sky,” said West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy, on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. “We have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Lions Bay, outlining the plan to install a concrete median barrier, which will greatly increase safety for all motorists. The B.C. government is making record investments in modern, safe infrastructure, through which a reliable and efficient transportation network is continually being improved.”

On average, 19,000 vehicle trips are made every day along this section of the highway. This route serves local traffic, commercial goods movers, tourists and recreational traffic. Traffic along this segment of the Sea to Sky Highway has grown by 24% in five years.

The ministry is investing $800,000 in the project, which will start in April 2017 and be complete in the fall. This poject will replace 1.4 kilometres of landscape median between Lions Bay Avenue and Brunswick Beach Road with a concrete median barrier. The median barrier will also have reflector strips to improve visibility at night and in bad weather conditions.

“The median replacement through this segment is the right thing to do. This change will presumably prevent any further head-on collisions and other crossover accidents along this stretch,” said Lions Bay Mayor Karl Buhr. “We still need drivers to be aware, especially since there are two-lane sections nearby with neither concrete nor landscape barrier. Despite looking like one, the Sea to Sky at Lions Bay is not actually freeway. Lions Bay’s volunteer Fire Rescue service spends about 67 per cent of its call-out hours serving motor-vehicle accidents on the highway. We still need people to slow down and drive to the road conditions.”

The ministry will continue to work with Lions Bay on addressing incidents through the corridor and will look at opportunities to improve the incident management protocol for Highway 99, to speed up the highway re-opening following an incident. In addition, a new webcam will be installed on Highway 99 at Lions Bay, and the ministry will also be improving existing street lights through this area.

The ministry is also funding an additional $20,000 toward a landscaping plan for the community of Lions Bay, which will remove and repurpose the trees and shrubs from the current landscaped median. Ministry staff will work with Lions Bay on a landscaping plan for areas within the corridor through Lions Bay and will plant new trees and shrubs to beautify the community.

This project is a part of B.C. on the Move, government’s 10-year transportation plan. Over the next three years, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and its partners will be investing over $4.6 billion in priority investments to improve B.C.’s transportation network.