People in the Cariboo are understandably frustrated and concerned with flooding happening in the region. As we all witness the effects of climate change across the province, the region is being particularly hard hit by changing weather patterns. The damage is causing delays, detours, and threatens access to some communities.
The challenge ahead is real. The unusually high water table caused unprecedented slides and washouts in the Cariboo last fall. The 2021 spring thaw and freshet is underway and we’ve already seen flooding, damage, or slides at 70 sites.
Protecting people, their homes, and their ability to get around safely is a critical role of the BC government – and we are responding to this challenge. Last year more than $35 million was spent throughout the Cariboo to repair and upgrade roads that were damaged or at risk from flooding. This included increasing the supply of culverts and strengthening side roads and ditches to help mitigate flooding. A total of $162 million is dedicated for this year to continue sideroad work in BC communities.
We’re also working to ensure regions can adapt to climate change. Part of that commitment involves the largest investment ever in B.C. to preserve and maintain roads. That’s why Budget 2021 has $737 million allocated for road improvements. We are identifying proactive changes to respond before water or slides cause road damage and closures.
We are working hard to quickly fix roadways, and to prevent damage in the future, so families can be safe in their homes and on the roads throughout BC.
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure
Editor’s Note: This letter was sent in response to the Quesnel Cariboo Observer article, Cariboo North MLA hoping to put area roads in spotlight of budget response
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