March 13, 2003

Federal, Yukon governments contribute $5.8 million to highway improvement

Ottawa, Ontario – MP for Yukon Larry Bagnell, on behalf of Transport Minister David Collenette, and Yukon Infrastructure Minister Glenn Hart has announced joint funding of $5.8 million over two years for the rehabilitation of the Teslin River Bridge, located at Johnson’s Crossing.

The project, which falls under the Canada/Yukon Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program (SHIP), involves a seismic retrofit and structural strengthening of the Teslin River Bridge to enable it to better withstand the effects of growing traffic and earthquakes.

“The Teslin River Bridge, as part of the only direct land link between British Columbia and Alaska, is an extremely important link for the National Highway System in Yukon,” said Mr. Bagnell. “This kind of support is crucial to economic development and public safety.”

Under the Canada/Yukon SHIP agreement, the Government of Canada and the Yukon Territory will provide joint funding of $8.8 million until March 2006 for highway improvement projects in the territory. This agreement, signed April 8, 2002, is part of the national $600 million SHIP program announced by Mr. Collenette in April 2001.

“The federal contribution of $2.9 million from the Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program will help improve and enhance the safety of Yukon’s highway system,” said Mr. Collenette. “It will be beneficial for residents of the area, as well as for visitors and for trade.”

“The remedial work done on the Teslin River Bridge will increase its stability in the event of an earthquake,” said Mr. Hart. ” It will also accommodate increased traffic loads and provide for future widening of the bridge deck.”

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