Changes have been made to the speed limit on a half kilometre stretch of Highway 666 between O’Brien Provincial Park and Nitehawk Year-Round Adventure Park. As of September 18th, the speed limit dropped from 80 kilometres an hour to 50 kilometres an hour.
Alberta Transportation Regional Director Ryan Konowalyk says the change was made for safety reasons.
“It’s really just to slow people down through an active slide area that actually has a number of slides in that area… The active slides are really making the road create quite a bumpy ride for people so slowing down will be imperative as you go through that little zone.”
While specific numbers were not known as to how many slides have been seen this year, Konowalyk believes movement in the area has increased because of the wet summer. Despite that, he says the speed reduction may not stay in place forever.
While he’s hesitant to give a date for if or when the previous speed could return, he says they are investigating some other options to protect the area as it’s not a simple fix.
“There’s a number of slides so its not as simple as just dealing with one and then we’re out of there… A number of slide repairs could be undertaken which could get the speed back up; the alternative route if people felt it was worth it, they could travel to the top of the hill and then back down the MD road into Grovedale and other areas.”
At this point, the speed reduction will remain in place indefinitely.