Canada Saskatchewan highway ministry reviewing deadly intersection

15:10  10 april  2018
15:10  10 april  2018 Source:   Star Phoenix

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Saskatchewan considering limiting turns at deadly Highway 11 intersection . The ministry proposed closing one access point to the busy intersection , reducing the amount of cross-traffic coming in and out of the intersection .

A fatal crash that claimed the lives of a Saskatoon family of four has renewed calls for a review of the deadly intersection at Highway 11 and Wanuskewin Road. While the provincial government said it won't react until the collision has been reviewed , the Ministry of Highways said it is considering its

040918-HKO_Sask_Bus_Crash_20180407© JONATHAN HAYWARD 040918-HKO_Sask_Bus_Crash_20180407

The provincial Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure sent staff to review the intersection where a tragic crash involving the Humboldt Broncos team bus happened.

Ministry spokesman Doug Wakabayashi said the ministry always conducts such a review after a fatal crash at an intersection.

“It’s just a really terrible, unspeakable tragedy,” Wakabayashi said in an interview on Monday. “We will conduct a review. It might take some time for the result of the review.”

The Broncos team bus and a semi transport truck collided at the intersection Friday night, killing 15 of the passengers on the bus. It was travelling north to Nipawin on Highway 35, while the semi was headed west on Highway 335.

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Saskatchewan 's Ministry of Highways is permanently cutting off access to a rural road from one of the province's most deadly intersections .

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The review will depend partly on the result of the RCMP investigation into the cause of the collision, Wakabayashi said. RCMP have said the investigation could be long and complex and had no update on Monday.

“Really, it’s a pretty basic intersection,” Wakabayashi said. “It’s at right angles.”

He noted the southeast corner of the intersection has a clump of trees that could obscure the view from a vehicle travelling west on Highway 335.

Highway 335 features stop signs with flashing lights at the intersection with Highway 35, and signs warning that a stop sign is ahead.

The flashing lights were installed after a review into the intersection following a tragic crash in June 1997.

In that case, a pickup truck carrying six family members ran the stop sign on Highway 335 and collided with a semi travelling on Highway 35.

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During the summer months, segments of highways that have no construction, maintenance, or other activity on them are not displayed. Please note this report is updated by Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure staff whenever changing conditions are observed.

The information in this map report has been compiled from observations made by Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure staff. The Government of Saskatchewan accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information.

Wendy Fiddler, a 26-year-old single mom of five from Saskatoon, was killed in that crash, along with her brother Rod from Dawson Creek, B.C., his wife Terri and their three young children.

The flashing lights were added in the 1998-1999 budget year, Wakabayashi said.

Several members of the Rural Municipality of Connaught council have said they would like rumble strips installed along Highway 335 close to the intersection.

Wakabayashi said rumble strips, intended to force approaching vehicles to slow, may not be the answer, depending on the composition of the highway.

Rumble strips are typically installed on highways composed of asphalt concrete pavement, but the highways at that intersection are made from granular pavement, he said.

Another problems with rumble strips is that they can be damaged by snow plows, he added.

Rumble strips are used at intersections on highways in Saskatchewan, Wakabayashi confirmed, but he did not know how many there are. He said there is no standard used to determine whether rumble strips should be installed.

“We review every intersection and stretch of highway constantly,” he said.

The highways ministry is responsible for any safety changes to highways or intersections.

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