Item: Traffic management for avalanche safety trans- canada highway rogers pass british columbia
Title: Traffic management for avalanche safety trans- canada highway rogers pass british columbia
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1992 International Snow Science Workshop, Breckenridge, Colorado, USA
Authors: David Skjonsberg and John Morrall
Abstract: The Rogers Pass area in the Selkirk mountain range of British Columbia receives some of the heaviest snowfalls in Canada with an average of about 1000 cm annually at the 1300 m elevation and 1500 cm at 1900 m. The heavy snowfall combined with mountainous terrain result in this section of the Trans-Canada Highway being subjected to severe avalanche activity. There are 107 avalanche paths affecting the highway within the 44 km section through Glacier National Park. To provide avalanche safety and minimize closures of the highway, the Snow Research and Avalanche Warning Section· (SRAWS) of the Canadian Parks Service operates one of the largest mobile control programs in the world. Utilizing a 105 mm howitzer, artillery fire can be directed at over 200 designated targets. During periods of avalanche stabilization or in the event of a natural avalanche affecting the road, it is necessary to close the Trans-Canada Highway to traffic for which a traffic management plan was developed. The four fold increase in traffic since the highway opened in 1962 has led to difficulties in maintaining traditional levels of traffic delays without compromising public safety. In 30 years of highway operations, no member of the travelling public has been injured as a result of avalanches in Rogers Pass. Road closures have averaged 130 hours annually with the majority of individual closures not exceeding 3 hours. To maintain these standards it became necessary to reassess the traffic management plan. Traffic parameters such as volume, flow pattern and composition have a significant impact on avalanche safety and, as such, must be considered in operating avalanche control programs for highways. This paper presents an overview of the traffic management plan for avalanche safety in Rogers Pass as well as the findings of a recently completed study. The objectives of the study were to collect traffic data, analyze the data and make recommendations for improvements to the traffic management plan.
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Keywords: safety, awareness, control, highway, snowfall
Digital Abstract Not Available