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Draft safety report for Spray Lakes Road under review

The draft safety report for Spray Lakes Road after three people lost their lives when their SUV flipped into the reservoir this past winter is currently under review by Alberta Transportation.

The draft safety report for Spray Lakes Road after three people lost their lives when their SUV flipped into the reservoir this past winter is currently under review by Alberta Transportation.

The full safety review is standard, according to officials, following fatal incidents on roads the province controls and maintains.

Alberta Transportation spokesperson Trent Bancarz said recently the full in-service engineering and safety review of the entire road is in draft form and under review.

“We are taking a look at it and seeing what we may or may not do with it,” Bancarz said. “Before we say too much about it we would like to have a plan in place for improvements, if there are any.”

The road, also known as Smith-Dorrien Road, connects Canmore to Highway 40 and traverses Kananaskis Country and was built in the 1940s by the Calgary Power Company to access its infrastructure.

It is technically not a provincial highway, but an Improvement District road, however, Alberta Transportation maintains and operates it.

The road is approximately 65 kilometres from its junction with Highway 40 to its junction with Highway 742 near the Nordic Centre. Approximately 35 kilometres on the south end are built to a gravel highway standard.

The northern 30 kilometres are unimproved and do not meet highway or gravel standards.

Bancarz said in January the road is not designed to be a thoroughfare or a commuter or connector road, but is meant to provide basic road access to the backcountry.

James Allan and Jennifer, Jaimie and Darrin Waugh of Calgary and Cochrane were in the vehicle that left the road last winter.

Jaimie Waugh was the only survivor. Jaimie and Darrin Waugh were married, while James Allan and Jennifer Waugh were partners.

The SUV, travelling on the snow-covered Spray Lakes Road about 10 kilometres from Canmore, hit a snowbank before veering across the road and flipping onto its roof in the reservoir, according to witness reports.


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