April 7, 2003

Federal and provincial governments contribute $16.71 million to B.C. highway projects

Kamloops, B.C. – The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia announced they will contribute joint funding of $16.71 million for two highway construction projects on the Trans Canada highway and Highway 5 near the B.C. interior town of Kamloops.

The announcement was made by British Columbia Senator D. Ross Fitzpatrick, on behalf of Transport Minister David Collenette, together with British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell and Judith Reid, British Columbia Minister of Transportation.

A 4.2 kilometre section of the Trans-Canada Highway between Broderick Creek and Ford Road will be upgraded to four lanes, which will allow for a standard 100 km/hour speed limit. The project also includes a grade-separated crossing and the conversion of a four-way intersection at White Lake Road. Extra right lanes will be built at this intersection so that traffic can merge onto and off of the secondary road and the Trans-Canada Highway. The conversion at this intersection is expected to reduce accidents by 65 per cent.

A second proposed project will improve safety by realigning the highway and flattening the existing curves on a 1.6 kilometre stretch of Highway 5 at Preacher Hill between Barriere and Little Fort. This particular stretch of road has been identified as a safety concern, with a higher-than-average number of truck rollover accidents. The realignment will allow traffic speeds to be raised to 100 km/hour and will upgrade this section of highway to modern standards.

“As part of our Heartlands Economic Strategy, we are launching a comprehensive program of transportation improvements to help open up our province and revitalize the economy,” said Mr. Campbell. “We are also working with the federal government under the new Canada-B.C. Partnership to further expand our transportation infrastructure and provide critical safety improvements. The added funding provided today brings total investments in the Trans-Canada Highway corridor through B.C. to $219 million in the past year.”

Under the SHIP agreement, the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are providing joint funding of $122.4 million until March 2006 for highway improvement projects in the province. The Canada/B.C. SHIP agreement, signed March 5, 2002, is part of the national $600 million SHIP program announced by Mr. Collenette in April 2001.

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