Power Line Hill still slated for safety upgrades
Highway 99s most deadly spot, Power Line Hill, is still the number one priority for upgrading despite cutbacks in the Ministry of Transportation and Highways in last month's provincial budget.
David Mitchell, West Vancouver-Garibaldi MLA, says the commitments he has received from Minister of Highways Jackie Pement regarding the plans to straighten the deadly S-curve south of Whistler are still on track.
"Although the ministry (of highways) budget has been slashed, I am confident Highway 99 improvements will be included in the capital projects announced for highways toward the end of April," Mitchell says.
Located just north of Brandywine Falls, Power Line Hill, with its fall-away grade and sweeping blind curves has claimed a number of lives as motorists speed into the corner.
Mitchell says Pement told him a project destined to straighten and widen Power Line Hill is the "number one priority" for 1995 projects in the south coast region.
"From all of the conversations I have had at both the bureaucratic and political levels the Power Line Hill project will be undertaken this year," Mitchell says.
The Power Line Hill upgrade would cost in excess of $1 million and the funding would come through B.C. 21 and the B.C. Transit and Finance Authority.
Mitchell added a $6 million upgrade to the Cheakamus Canyon section of Highway 99 is still a high priority that could receive funding this year as well.
District Highways Manger Maria Szalay, says she can't indicate the status of the projects because the capital and rehabilitation budgets for the Ministry of Transportation and Highways have not been finalized, although she did confirm both projects have been given high priority.
"Power Line Hill was in the program last year, but we haven't got the budget allocated for projects slated to go this year yet," Szalay says.