If you’ve travelled Hwy. 3 west between Princeton and Hope lately, you’re sure to have “enjoyed” all the improvements currently being undertaken — even if they do come with some delays.
There’s new pavement from Sumallo Flats to Allison Pass and some clean-up going on at other locations along the route.
But what you might not have noticed is that cell service was recently added.
With new Telus cellular micro-cells installed in Sunshine Valley, Manning Park and the East Gate community, the cell service provides short-range cellular coverage along the highway from Hope to Princeton.
The cell coverage extends about 500 metres on either side of the highway, meaning it’s still not available for hikers, skiers and others using the backcountry.
But it should help alleviate trouble along the highway that has resulted in dangerous and even tragic circumstances.
The service upgrade follows a petition undertaken by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen’s Area H Director Bob Coyne. He and his RDOS Board counterparts demanded Telus — which is contracted by the province to provide cellular service along Hwy. 3 — improve coverage in the Eastgate and Manning Park area.
“The province spends a lot of money to bring tourists to the Manning Park area and they can’t use phones there. There are international tourists coming and they can’t use their phones,” Mr. Coyne reportedly told the RDOS board.
An Oliver truck driver also was the victim of unavailable cellphone coverage, spending two days in March 2017 trapped in his rig before being rescued after his unit rolled down a Hwy. 3 embankment.
He later succumbed to his injuries.