Sudbury

Safety improvements coming to Highway 11, group says

A group from Temiskaming Shores says the province is adding interim safety measures to help reduce collisions on Highway 11.

Extra rumble strips, widening rock cut sections included in measures

A highway safety group in the Temiskaming Shores area says the province will add more rumble strips to Highway 11.

A group from Temiskaming Shores says the province is adding interim safety measures to help reduce collisions on Highway 11.

There have been a number of serious crashes along that highway, including 16 fatal collisions in the past eight years.

Mark Wilson is with the Going the Extra Mile for Safety committee, also known as the GEMS committee.

He says the province has said it will add interim safety measures to help reduce collisions.

"Continuation of the centre line rumble strip initiative, perhaps increasing clear zones along the highway, so that would be widening sections of the area where there are rock cuts and those types of things and protecting other hazards on the sides of the road," he said.

"So those are some of the initiatives that they're looking at."

Initially, his group had been pushing for a 2+1 model for the highway. He says the idea originated in Europe and involves installing a barrier between two lanes in one direction and another going the opposite way. The pattern switches after a few kilometres so drivers going either way have a chance to pass. The physical barrier prevents drivers from crossing into oncoming traffic.

Wilson took this photo of a 2+1 highway while in Europe last June. (Submitted by Mark Wilson)

He says the province turned down that idea, mainly due to the limited size of the shoulder of the road.

However, Wilson says his group remains optimistic.

"During our meeting there was some discussion that a pilot may be suitable in another location," he said.

"This study really will become part of the MTO's resource now and it may be the starting point for 2+1 roads and that's something that we want to continue to try and work on."

Wilson says it's important to keep the highway safe. He also adds improving the highway is important to connect northern Ontario to the south.

"We have a growing agricultural and mining sector here," he said.

"We're seeing highway volumes increasing. We're seeing truck volumes increasing. We need access for those industries and we also need a safe highway people will feel comfortable on."

With files from Angela Gemmill

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