Weather

Monday, November 21, 2011

Alberta Transportation to increase wind warning signage in Southwestern Alberta


Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice, with sourced material

"Wind Gusts"
Highway 22 last winter, just north of Highway 3

C. Davis photo
     Alberta Transportation is installing new “Wind Warning” signs at strategic locations on Highways 2, 3 and 22 in southwest Alberta.  The signs are folded closed in normal weather, and are to be opened by maintenance personnel when the wind reaches 80 km per hour.  Opened, they read "Extreme Wind Gusts, Use  Caution."  The signs are expected to be in place by December 1.  Similar fold-down warning signs were installed on Highway 3 in 2008 at the Chain Lakes junction of Highway 22 and Highway 533.


Once a wind warning has been obtained from Environment Canada, the information is also dispatched to the weigh scale sites in Burmis on Highway 3 and in Balzac on Highway 2, informing truckers of the presence of strong winds in the area.

There is a permanent sign on Highway 22 for southbound traffic, south of the Village of Longview that reads "Wind Gusts Next 16 kms".

Transportation Alberta will also install  electronic signs next year that will incorporate the Road Weather Information System (RWIS), to be situated at the junctions of Highways 22 and 3, and at the Chain Lakes junction of Highways 22 and 533.  These signs will also be activated when the wind speed exceeds 80 km per hour. These electronic RWIS units monitor several road condition factors every 15 minutes, including wind speeds and pavement temperatures, and incorporate cameras.  When conditions warrant, these "smart signs" can transmit information to a modem that then updates the other electronic signs to give drivers advance warning of severe driving conditions ahead. The Alberta Motor Association will also include relevant information provided by RWIS on their website, which is often monitored by truckers and other travellers for road condition information.

Additional warning signs at strategic locations may be installed as warranted.

Highway 22 is notorious as a route with a large number of rollovers due to high winds, particularly in the winter months.  Winds can gust up to 180 km per hour.

Sources:
www.amta.ca
Livingstone Landowners Group

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous23/11/11

    FYI there has been wind warning flip down signs on Hwy 22 for years.
    You also cannot be west of Hwy 3 as you would be in the ocean. Hwy 22 is NORTH of hwy 3.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. I've corrected the cutline, as you are correct. I was in error calling the spot "west" of Highway 3 when in fact it is north. I must have had a moment, since I've driven that particular stretch many times. Thanks for the input.
    -Chris Davis

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