The B.C. government is investing a further $200 million over the next five years in Phase 2 of the Cariboo Connector four-laning program, Premier Christy Clark announced today.
The investment in nine new projects will four-lane an additional 30 kilometres of Highway 97 between Prince George and Cache Creek and create more than 1,000 direct jobs over the life the projects, a government news release says.
“The Cariboo Connector is an incredibly important section of highway that connects northern B.C. with the Interior,”says Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “It supports economic growth and meets the need for safe, dependable roadway in our specific region.”
The Cariboo Connector is part of the new Pacific Gateway Transportation Strategy 2012-2020, which supports the elements of Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan to expand markets for B.C. products and strengthen infrastructure to get goods to market.
This is part of the new provincial investment of $700 million over the next five years to increase capacity on key provincial highways to support trade and improve safety.
At the completion of Phase 2, almost 50 per cent of the 440-kilometre section of Highway 97 between Cache Creek and Prince George will be either three or four lanes wide, and is expected to improve the safety and mobility of the corridor.
“This work is extremely important for families along the Highway 97 corridor through the Cariboo, and for those in the region who rely on Highway 97 for their livelihoods and mobility,” says Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Blair Lekstrom. “Widening Highway 97 to four lanes between Cache Creek and Prince George will support economic growth that will benefit workers and families across the province.”
Approximately $28 million of the work will take place in the Cariboo-Chilcotin:
• Carson Drive to Fox Mountain Road: four-laning between Carson Drive and Fox Mountain Road in Williams Lake including access management and intersection improvements.
• Stormy Road: four-laning tying together the previously-constructed Stormy Road North and Bullock Lake Road projects, south of 100 Mile House.
• 76 Mile South: four-laning tying together the Stormy and 70 Mile North sections, south of 100 Mile House.