Victoria, British Columbia – A major investment for highway improvements in British Columbia will improve road safety, create jobs and stimulate the economy, according to the federal and provincial governments.

The accelerated investment of $174 million was announced by federal Transport and Infrastructure Minister John Baird, and his provincial counterpart Kevin Falcon. Construction on the first of the interior highway projects is expected to begin in the upcoming construction season.

“The B.C. government has been working with the Government of Canada to get these dollars flowing quickly into communities across the province,” Falcon said. “Not only are these projects important improvements to safety, they’re an important stimulus to local economies, and it’s estimated that this investment will create over 1,700 direct and indirect jobs.”

The funding will allow accelerating of engineering, tendering and construction on five highway improvement projects along Highways 1 and 97A in the Southern Interior region of the province. Both governments have identified these as a priority for infrastructure funding consideration, with the federal government setting aside up to $78 million, or a maximum of 50 per cent of eligible costs for the projects.

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