Highway 3 Needs to be Twinned - Medicine Hat to Taber NOW

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Friday, October 25, 2019 a 59 year old man lost his life on Highway #3 near Bow Island –A tragic death that could likely have been avoided.

Heading west on highway 3 on his motorcycle, the wind forced him into the path of oncoming traffic. He was struck by a loaded semi-trailer. The truck trailer tipped. The driver of the bike was killed instantly.

The state of shock of those left to mourn is exacerbated by the lack of media attention to this horrific accident.  (The Bow Island Commentator published a short article on October 29, but nothing in the Medicine Hat News).

Wednesday following the accident, The neighbors drove to the site of the accident to mount a tribute in the motorcycle driver's honor.

Looking for an appropriate place to mount our tribute, we walked along the ditch near the tragic site. I was alarmed by the never-ending stream of traffic!

Driving back to the ‘Hat, we approached a truck hauling a wide farm implement.  The vehicle properly displayed warning signs to alert traffic of the danger, and the driver used the shoulder, but the implement was still too wide for traffic to pass safely without using the on-coming lane. Finally, there was a small break, we passed and continued on. 

However, further along a truck hauling a trailer entered the highway (from Range Road 120) in front of us.  We had to brake to avoid hitting the truck and trailer. The traffic snarl resulting from the slow-moving farm vehicle likely caused the driver of that vehicle frustration while waiting for a break in traffic.  

These hazards occurred during a half-hour on a Wednesday afternoon!

Highway #3 between Medicine Hat and Taber is a killer!

The facts…..

The wind blew the motorcycle into the other lane.  Or did the wind force the semi-trailer off course to collide with the motorcycle. The RCMP continue their investigation.  Either way, had the highway been twinned, there is a good chance that the motorcycle driver would be alive today.

The horrific accident resulted in the closure of Highway 3 between Range Road 93 and Highway 885. Traffic was rerouted. Had the highway been twinned, and an incident occured, there would be room for the police to direct traffic past the scene …no need to reroute.

Another fatal crash on Highway 3 near Bow Island - killed a teenage girl.  The facts indicate that this fatality could have been avoided if the highway was twinned.

Yet another fatality – this one within Medicine Hat City Limits on Highway 3 not far from the turn-off to Desert Blume - a man perished in a head-on collision - leaving behind 5 young children and a loving wife, family and friends.  The facts indicate the collision could have been avoided if the highway was twinned.

So many lives changed forever. 

Studies on twinning Highway 3 have been going on for 20 years or so!  (Some of these studies were completed as long ago as 2013! Had this project been started 20 years ago, how many lives would have been saved????

Now we are in a period of provincial spending restraint. Hopefully these spending restraints will result in the reduction of government waste - freeing up funds for vital improvements and expenditures.  There is money in the 2019 Alberta Budget for highway construction and rehabilitation.  Millions have now been earmarked for widening highway 1A - between Cochrane and Canmore - an ALTERNATE route.  Highway 3 is the ONLY route along the food corridor of southern Alberta!

Considering the number of people using this highway on a daily basis, including commuters, the farming community, new businesses in the Medicine Hat and Bow Island area, large trucks moving goods, vacationers….it would seem to me that the safety  of travelers would be a priority in the minds of those managing tax payers money.

So many families and loved ones have been left to grieve in the past 20 years since this project has been on the table!

Could we not get some Federal funding to finally get this long-overdue project underway?

If only something good could come from these and other tragedies that have occurred on this dangerous road in recent years.  Tragedies that need not have occurred – if only the Highway 3 between Medicine Hat and Taber were twinned.