Eddie Ballarin received the Mavis Johnson Award on behalf of Binnie, while attending the GVITE Annual General Meeting (GVITE is the Greater Vancouver section of the Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers).

The Mavis Johnson Award celebrates technical excellence in the field of road safety. Selection criteria includes technical complexity and innovation, societal importance, sustainability, quantity of work and budget/time limitations.
The award was presented to Binnie for our work on the Malahat Highway 1 Safety Improvement Study and Detailed Design, a project funded by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The objective of the project was to study and design safety improvements along 17 kilometres of the slippery, elevated highway which winds and curves, taking drivers over Malahat Mountain on the east coast of Vancouver Island. The highway is known for having some of BC’s highest crash rates.

During the safety review, Binnie analyzed 10 years of collision data recorded between 2002 – 2011 to determine the safety performance of the entire highway corridor as well as individual segments within the corridor. Binnie then compared its safety performance to the Provincial Safety Benchmarks to determine which segments were considered to be collision-prone. Binnie determined a list of short and long-term improvements for the highway.

Following the Ministry’s acceptance of Binnie’s recommendations, Binnie prepared the detailed design of 14 short-term safety improvements – using two design teams to complete the project in just five months. The completed safety improvements include: protected T-intersections, acceleration and deceleration lanes, intersection lighting, median barriers, intersection geometric improvements, u-turn areas, law enforcement pullouts, and improved access to lookouts and rest areas.

Eddie Ballarin was the Engineer of Record for the design:

It was fast tracked and challenging – we were working on the Malahat at the same time as Highway 99 [Highway 99 and 16th Avenue Interchange]– that was a crazy Christmas, the whole division did a ton of overtime.

Mavis Johnson is the Founder and President of the Canadian Traffic Safety Institute. She has been involved in road safety in the UK and Canada for over 45 years. She commented on the Malahat project:

The winning project is of particular interest to me as I am a frequent traveller along the Malahat Highway Corridor and I have been encouraged over the past few years at the “systems” approach that has been brought to this corridor through a combined effort of Road Infrastructure improvements, focused traffic enforcement and public awareness campaigns and education programs.

Since this is the first award for ITE’s Greater Vancouver section, I hope it will set the standard for future award submissions which will demonstrate the benefits of all the partners working together in a strategic and integrated program which will undoubtedly improve safety on our roads and reduce the tragic consequences of them.

Pictured left to right: Jonathan Ho, Traffic Engineer, Gar Lee, Senior Consultant Liaison, MOTI, Winnie Wong, Traffic Operations Engineer, MOTI, Eddie Ballarin, Engineer of Record, Gebre Libsekal, Project Manager