Montrose, better lighting for pedestrians and drivers

The main drag in Montrose just became a whole lot safer for foot traffic and motorists, especially at night.

Upgrades to Highway 3B through Montrose have been completed.

Upgrades to Highway 3B through Montrose have been completed.

The main drag in Montrose just became a whole lot safer for foot traffic and motorists, especially at night.

All 25 streetlights lining the Highway 3B corridor are decked out in brighter LEDs, and three existing crosswalks were overhauled with better signage and more visible paint.

“This is a great improvement, it is much safer” said Joe Danchuk, village mayor. “We have a lot of people who walk in the evening and now it gets dark out so early. I have been getting tons of positive feedback, it just makes such a huge difference.”

The project first rolled out last fall after the village met with the province at the 2015 UBCM (Union of B.C. Municipalities) and requested upgrades similar to those completed in Fruitvale on Highway 3B and Nelson Avenue, next to the Villager’s Inn.

The scope of work included the removal of an historic crosswalk at 6th Street, and focused improvements on the three higher-traffic locales at Third, Fifth and Seventh street crosswalks.

Montrose received word early this fall that the province was picking up the entire tab to upgrade the pedestrian crossings, and covering costs for new LEDs on the eight ministry-owned street lights.

Of the 25 lights that line the highway corridor, the other 17 are property of Montrose, so council re-directed $10,000 from its crosswalk improvement budget into better lighting.

That decision was made during a September council meeting to coincide with electrical work already underway on Highway 3B.

With the LEDs up and running, the village is eligible for $1,360 in rebates from FortisBC ($80 per light).

“It is expected that the village’s final cost will come in around $8,500,” said Chief Administrative Officer Larry Plotnikoff. “In addition, it is anticipated that there will be some further minor cost savings in the power consumption rates from Fortis, for the new LED streetlights.”