Roads, roads, roads

MLA Bob Simpson, in his weekly column, discusses Highway 97, the Likely-Wells connector road, and resource roads.

It’s been great to have had some quality time in the constituency, and I feel like I’m finally getting caught up on both individual constituent matters and community initiatives.

One area that is always an ongoing concern for my office is our road infrastructure, and it’s been a focus for me again these past few weeks.

I had a good meeting with Ministry of Transportation senior staff to go over the various road projects and initiatives currently underway and planned for the near future. Along with the continuation of more four-laning of sections of Highway 97, there will be significant work undertaken to repair and upgrade a number of secondary and side roads throughout the region. I’m hoping that one of those projects will be the West Fraser Road, which needs significant repairs as soon as possible.

The 150 Mile House road project, which is well behind schedule, will continue this summer and is to be completed by the fall. Ministry staff will closely monitor the contractor through the completion of this major project.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) has begun work on the 3100 Road (the Likely-Wells connector road), which was washed out last spring. The road will be closed for about three to four weeks for blasting and repairs and should be reopened for the summer tourism traffic.

In addition to maintaining and upgrading the road infrastructure we’ve got, I’ve asked both the MOT and FLNRO to look at the resource roads in our region with a view to ensuring that people living in either Quesnel or Williams Lake have easy access to the existing and potential mining opportunities throughout the region, and to ensure we can fully utilize our available timber supply.

Investment in the strategic expansion of our road infrastructure is necessary to maximize economic development and job creation opportunities in our region.

Bob Simpson is the Independent MLA for Cariboo North.

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