SECHELT, B.C. — Safety improvements to a collision-prone intersection of Highway 101 between Gibsons and Sechelt and a study of a bypass/alternative route have been green-lit by B.C. officials.
The safety recommendations were made by a previous study of the route.
“We are committed to making safety upgrades to the busy Joe Road/Orange Road intersection on Highway 101,” said Claire Trevena, minister of transportation and infrastructure, in a statement. “We also want to study the possibility of a Gibsons bypass or alternative route, as we know this is something that is important to many who live in the area.”
The study includes consultation with the public that is scheduled for next year. The current route cuts through both Gibsons and Sechelt where it runs into 11 signal-controlled intersections.
“A safe, efficient Highway 101 is essential for people who live, work and travel on the Sunshine Coast,” said Nicholas Simons, MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast. “There are many opinions about how a bypass or alternative route could improve highway travel, and I look forward to leading public consultation in the coming year as we explore this idea further.”
According to the province, the Joe Road/Orange Road intersection on Highway 101 is one of the busiest unsignalized intersections between Gibsons and Sechelt, providing a connection to Lower Road and many residential properties on either side of the highway. It is also one of the most collision-prone locations in the study area.
To increase safety, ministry engineers have begun work on a project to install protected left-turn lanes eastbound and westbound. The project includes adjustments to the overall geometry of the intersection. It is expected that construction will take place in summer 2021.
The Highway 101 Gibsons to Sechelt Corridor Study explored options to improve the safety and operations of the corridor and was undertaken from March 2019 to August 2020.
Recommendations from the study include short-, medium- and long-term improvement options to improve safety and efficiency along the corridor.