It’s a fact. BC is a heck of a popular place and our highways and byways are getting busier and busier. What should be a simple left turn can sometimes take a long, long time to make (not to mention big back-ups for folks in line behind.) We often need to make changes to some of those busier routes in order to keep travellers moving safely and smoothly, which is exactly what is happening on Highway 97 at Stickle Road in Vernon. Work is currently underway to improve safety, mobility and access along this stretch of the highway, one of the busiest north-south connectors in the province.
But wait! There’s more. (A lot more, actually.)
On top of adding separated and protected left turn lanes off Highway 97 at the Stickle Road intersection, we are also connecting the south end of Stickle Frontage Road with 20th Street and working on a number of restoration and enhancement opportunities along the BX Creek drainage channel.
Above and Beyond in Environmental Care
We’re taking extra care to reduce our environmental impact on and around the project site. In addition to reducing our construction footprints wherever possible we are also:
- Carrying out bird surveys ahead of any clearing
- Reducing the width of clearing and grubbing areas where possible
- Installing silt fencing along embankment toes to prevent siltation
- Capturing and relocating amphibians ahead of construction
- Scanning for amphibians when laying out geogrid and geotextile fabrics on soft grounds
- Placing rip rap and small berms in the creek channel to minimize erosion
- Using plastic snow fencing to identify and protect environmentally sensitive areas
- Making sure an environmental monitor was present on-site during construction in the creek channel
- Installing boulder clusters in BX Creek to increase fish habitat complexity
- Planting native riparian vegetation along BX Creek where riparian vegetation is less dense or absent
- Removing invasive species in cattail wetland area and riparian corridor
- Installing bird nesting boxes and bat boxes in the riparian corridor and cattail wetland habitat
- Cleanup and garbage removal within the riparian corridor
We’re also working with Ducks Unlimited on their property downstream of the project to create several new wetlands and restore the functionality of the lower end of BX Creek adjacent to and leading into Swan Lake.
So – no matter if you are a driver, pedestrian, fish or fowl – this project has something great in store for you. Looking for more information about this project? The Stickle Road Project website has tonnes of great information for you. Do you have a question about this project, or any other work the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure does? Let us know in the comments below.