Williams Lake Indian Band community member Julie Palmantier

Williams Lake Indian Band community member Julie Palmantier

SLIDESHOW: Four-laning of Highway 97 on schedule near Sugar Cane

Four-laning of Highway 97 near Sugar Cane community is on schedule, said Earl McLeod, project manager for Cantex Construction.

The four-laning of Highway 97 near Williams Lake Indian Band’s Sugar Cane community is on schedule, said Earl McLeod, project manager for Cantex Construction.

“We were going to shut down on Nov. 20, but we are going to take every day we can and we have work up until Christmas for sure,” McLeod told the Tribune during a recent tour of the project. “The weather helps. The ground isn’t frozen yet so we can continue working as long as we can.”

Recently crews completed building a mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) wall below the highway adjacent to the Pioneer Log Homes site. Building it took about four weeks.

Further south at Five Mile Creek, Kamloops Augering and Boring Ltd. is putting in a steel culvert — 2.5 metres in diametre — underneath the highway.

The work is done completely underground by driving in a large pipe, pulling out the dirt, and welding it section by section with no open excavation, McLeod said.

There are about 65 people working on the project, 35 for Cantex and the rest with Fortis and Kamloops Augering and Boring Ltd.

“Most of the crew is local,” McLeod said.

The project has been great for Williams Lake Indian Band, said Coun. Willie Sellars.

“Cantex has been working with WLIB from the beginning,” Sellars said, noting the four-laning is going to benefit the band’s residential and commercial infrastructure project and its golf course along Highway 97 with improved access and exposure to traffic.

“The work is right in our backyard and has created over 20 jobs for our community members, ranging from labourers to equipment operators. These jobs are changing lives and this project is not only benefiting the Williams Lake Indian Band but also the local economy. Very exciting for us and this area.”

Chief Ann Louie said a highlight so far was the marking of Remembrance Day by her community with Cantex.

 

“This was exciting both for the band and company,” Louie said. “They lined up their equipment, we had a moment of silence, read out names of our veterans and our elders said a prayer and sang a couple of drum songs.”

Louie said it was a great way to showcase the relationship between the company and the community and also have the community members who are working with Cantex participate and honour the community’s veterans while showing pride in their employment.

By the time the project pauses for the winter, the sub-grades will be in and cut down to where they are needed,  McLeod said.

“Hopefully by the middle of April or by May 1 we will be ready to start up again. It all depends on the weather,” he added.

Public driving through the 6.2 kilometre stretch of the road work have obeyed the speed limits for the most part, McLeod said.

“People don’t realize the construction speed zones are about their safety too,” he added.

The $47 million dollar upgrade also makes intersection improvements at Peters Drive, Chief Will Yum Gas Bar, and the Mission Road and Moose Drive intersections, while improving safety and access at Lexington and Sutton Roads by eliminating the at-grade intersections and replacing them with a grade-separated intersection to the east.

Here is a slideshow of photos taken during the Tribune’s tour.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This Dec. 2, 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)
Interior Health notes 80 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

108 people in the region have died from the virus

The Fraser River is seen west of Williams Lake from Doc English Bluff Ecological Reserve. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Tsilhqot’in National Government appeals Gibraltar Mines’ permit to discharge into Fraser River

Permit amendments fail to adequately protect the environment and human health, says TNG

The Horsefly Community Hall will be the site of a mobile vaccine clinic March 19, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Six COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open in Cariboo Chilcotin

100 Mile, Alexis Creek, Big Lake, Horsefly, Williams Lake and Tatla Lake

A Williams Lake area family living on Knife Creek Road lost everything to a house fire on Wednesday, March 3. (Photo submitted)
House fire destroys rural family home south of Williams Lake

The Macdonalds built their home on Knife Creek Road about 30 years ago

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Public input sought for B.C.’s police act review

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complaints about that condo

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A joint federal and B.C. government housing program announced today aims to help people living in up to 25,000 vulnerable households pay their rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Benefits for those not eligible for B.C.’s Rental Assistance Program or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

Most Read