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Tuesday November 22nd, 2011  
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   Volume 81 - Issue 47 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
"It's about proving to myself that I have the strength to overcome myself."
- Julie Anderson  
   
   

 

Story
Kimberley Massey photo
 
Signs warning motorists of dangerously high winds will soon be installed on Highway 22 and Highway 3, in an attempt by the Province to decrease rollovers.
At present, signs indicating frequent high winds can be found at either end of a 13 kilometre stretch of Highway 22, between kilometre seven and kilometre 20 north of Highway 3.
Additional fold down signs advising drivers to use caution were also installed on the highway in 2008, including the junction of Highway 22 and Highway 533 at Chain Lakes.
The fold down signs were installed after the MD of Willow Creek expressed concern over semi drivers unfamiliar with area winds travelling through the area during high winds and neglecting to pull over until they subside, leading to several semis blowing over and the highway needing to be closed.
The signs are utilized when wind speeds exceed 80 km/hour, but winds in the area often exceed well above 100 km/hour.
The strongest recorded wind velocity in the area was measured at 189 km/hour, and in February this year, eight semis were blown over in one day when winds gusted at up to 178 km/hour.
Alberta Transportation Maintenance Contract Inspector Rick Lemire said electronic signs will be installed next summer on Highway 22 as well as at the junctions with Highway 3 and Highway 533, in order to advise drivers to take an alternate route when wind speeds exceed 80 km/hour.
“The problem with Highway 22 is once you’re on it, there’s really no turnaround,” said Lemire.
 

“Once you’re on that road, you’re pretty well committed, so it’s important to let people know ahead of time.”
“We hope these signs will encourage people to stay off that highway when the wind is bad and take a different route.”
The signs will utilize the Road Weather Information System (RWIS), which monitors factors such as wind speed, road surface temperature and other factors, and information will be sent from the signs on Highway 22 to the signs on Highway 3 to warn drivers ahead of time.
Staff at the commercial vehicle inspection site at Burmis will also be notified and commercial drivers will be advised to take caution when winds exceed 80 km/hour.
The signs will include flashing lights and verbage indicating “when lights flashing, use alternate route”.
Until these signs are installed, Alberta Transporation will be installing additional static signs at either end of the 13 kilometre “wind tunnel” and at the major intersections advising drivers to take an alternate route.
“Those signs are in the design stage right now in Edmonton,” said Lemire.
“We are finalizing the verbage and message that will be put on the signs.”
He said there will be no enforcement component, and that using an alternate route will ultimately be up to the driver’s discretion.
“They will serve totally as just information signs,” said Lemire.
“It will be up to them to use their discretion.”
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   Volume 81 - Issue 47 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
 
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