News » Whistler

Sea to Sky accidents down since upgrade

'Highway of Death' moniker fading



It took five years and over $600 million, but it appears that the Sea to Sky Highway Improvement Project has achieved its goal of making the road - once nicknamed the "Killer Highway" or "Highway of Death" - a lot safer to drive.

While it will likely take years to fully gauge just how much safer it is compared to the past - and traffic patterns changed for the month of the Olympics - the statistics so far are encouraging.

According to the Ministry of Transportation, in the first six months after the project was completed the number of accidents reported decreased by 50 per cent below the average for that time period. From November 2009 to May 2010 there were just 46 incidents reported, while in a typical year, January to December, the average is 220.

Prior to the completion of the project there were an average of nine head-on crashes per year, leading to 12 fatalities since 2000. However, since November 2009 there has been just one head-on crash and no fatalities.

The Sea to Sky Highway Improvement Project widened and straightened the road, improving sight lines for drivers. As well, the project divided the northbound and southbound lanes in many sections, added more passing lanes and installed side and centre rumble strips in areas where the lanes could not be divided. Other features include wider shoulders and improved reflectors to improve night visibility. Traffic calming features have also been added in residential areas along the highway.



Add a comment