Highway 99: Actionable Suggestions by a Citizen

bob-2By Bob Brant
Published: April 28, 2016
 
 
 
HIGHWAY 99 through Squamish is at once a blessing and a challenge.  It connects us from Shannon Falls to Alice Lake and all points in between. Yet, in doing so we are challenged in many ways by access problems at most of our key intersections. 
Highway 99 falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Highways and is maintained locally by Miller Capilano. Intersection approaches involve the District of Squamish. So solutions involve a cooperative effort.
However, we taxpayers, collectively can have a say and influence, but we must speak up constructively.  Here is a brief list of problem areas accompanied by actionable suggestions, some that can be accomplished quickly while others more involved.
Garibaldi Way – East Side
The stretch from Highway 99 to the disjointed Tantalus Way is a complex, dangerous mess. When you combine entries and exits from Extra Foods, Chevron, Petro Can, Tantalus Way north and Tantalus Way south traffic flow is often treacherous.
Requested Solution:  Within the next six months prepare and open the right-in/right-out at Dowad Road. This will at least remove some of the northbound Tantalus traffic and will provide another access to Highway 99 northbound. 
Garibaldi Way – West Side
Government Road to Highway 99 along Garibaldi Way is a very narrow stretch and at peak drive time, when there is a lengthy Highway 99 bias to north-south bound traffic, this section gets seriously backed up, and with further development coming into Brackendale, will get worse.
Requested Solution: I am aware there is a (long-term) planned right-in/right out opposite the east side Dowad Road. I believe this should be now put into the mix to be planned and built within the next two years. 
Mamquam Road – East Side
Anyone who is turning left from Mamquam Road east onto Highway 99 knows the backed up lines being faced (and, God forbid you want to access this turn lane from Canadian Tire). 
Requested Solution: Immediately make both left-turn lanes, making any infrastructure changes needed to accomplish this.
Mamquam Forest Service Road/Site B ‘Industrial Access Road’
There is significant truck traffic here, which is projected to increase substantially in the near future  with relocation of additional log handling activities to Site B.
Requested Solution:  Install a northbound protected lane for trucks re-entering the highway from Site B, alleviating safety risks. Shortening of the southbound right turn/deceleration lane into Site B, which begins on the Stawamus River bridge, and relocating sidewalks to the outside of the bridge structure could provide adequate bridge width to accommodate the needed northbound protected lane.
Potholes And Crumbling Pavement
Cleveland Ave. and Garibaldi Way intersections at Highway 99 are riddled with potholes and have been for some time now. It’s surprising they have not even been patched sufficiently or to lasting effect. Further, there are several sections of our local highway that are starting to crumble. It seems to me the special pavement used in the highway upgrade is not standing the test of time.
Requested Solution: 1. Miller Capilano immediately repairs all (intersection) potholes and keeps on repairing them as soon as they reappear.  2. All sections (intersections and highway sections) in disrepair be re-paved as soon as the weather permits (hopefully this is already planned).
 No doubt there are other related issues and concerns for our stretch of Highway 99.
Writer’s Note:  These thoughts were corresponded to the Mayor and Council (council@ squamish.ca) and copied to Ashok Bhatti of the Ministry of Highways (Ashok.Bhatti@gov.bc.ca). The issues were discussed and referred  by Council to staff to determine potential action.  While the district can work on local projects, it should be noted these issues, being related to Highway 99, involve the Ministry of Highways to effect solutions.
 
Bob Brant  is a longtime Squamish resident.
 

 

Comments

  1. Hugh Kerr says:

    Great suggestions. Looking at Highway 99 beyond District borders: it is a very dangerous road in places when it is night and raining. When the road is wet at night the lines are very hard to see. Reflectors at the side are helpful, but there are stretches with none. Passing in a 2 lane section also can be dangerous. The cat’s eyes between the 2 lanes in West Van are very good, but they stop after West Van. We aren’t worth the investment ?