Opinion

Cariboo Connector paves the way to saving lives

There’s one thing you can say about the Liberals, and that is they like to get things moving — literally.

Earlier this week representatives from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure hosted an open house at the Tourism Discovery Centre to showcase construction plans to four-lane and improve Highway 97 between the north end of the Lexington subdivision, and past the WLIB lands to meet up with the new four-lane project recently completed north of the ‘50.

This latest proposal is the second phase of the Cariboo Connector: the Liberals’ ambitious goal to eventually see Highway 97 four-laned all the way from Cache Creek to Prince George, some 440 kilometres in all.

The provincial government is investing $200 million over the next five years for phase two of the Cariboo Connector, $30 million of that earmarked for the Lexington/WLIB stretch over the course of its two years of construction. Phase one of the Cariboo Connector, which included a redesign of the dangerous Wright Station curves south of Williams Lake as well as the 150 Mile project and other projects in the corridor, cost $240 million.

The drive behind the project so to speak, is for a “safe, reliable and efficient” corridor for moving resources to market.

Surely anyone who has driven Highway 97 in a winter snow storm will be glad to hear about this project as will all of the professional truck drivers out there who put their lives on the line moving our resources up and down the highway.

It just makes sense that the more space vehicles have between each other, the better the odds of avoiding accidents, and we’ve seen our share of tragic accidents here in the Interior.

Many lives have been lost on Highway 97 at a great emotional and financial cost to society.

There is no doubt the Cariboo Connector is, and will continue to, save lives on our roads and there is no greater incentive to having patience through the construction phase than that.

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