Motorists making the journey between the Similkameen and Okanagan valleys via Highway 3A are breathing a sigh of relief this week as signs giving notice of construction at Yellow Lake have been removed.
It appears that, unofficially at least, the road widening effort is complete.
It’s all good news for motorists travelling that portion of Highway 3A. Visibility, speed and safety have all been improved on the section of roadway, although there are some who are already saying that there are too many concrete retaining barriers lining the road, citing such things as wildlife infringement and safety issues stemming from out of control vehicles bouncing off the barriers and colliding with oncoming vehicles.
Concrete barriers lined the lake side of the highway prior to construction, and to our knowledge have never caused an accident. It seems unlikely that the addition of barriers to the cliff side – which should eliminate unwanted debris from landing on the road surface – is going to result in safety issues.
There was a similer debate over such things as roadway grade when the new bridge over Okanagan Lake in Kelowna was being built. To our knowledge, none of those concerns voiced then have ever materialized.
We think it remains to be seen whether or not these safety improvements are actually impediments. Certainly what currently exists at Yellow Lake represents a quantum leap in improvements to the roadway over what existed prior to construction starting late last year. Second guessing the engineers and designers so soon – before there is good reason – seems to us to be a pointless exercise.