Courtesy of the Government of BC:
The Province of British Columbia is building on its continued commitment to increase capacity and improve efficiency of the Cariboo Connector with a further $200 million of provincial funding, announced Minister of State for Rural Economic Development Donna Barnett, on behalf of Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone.
“Today I’m announcing funding for Phase 3 of the Cariboo Connector Strategy that will continue our government’s long-term commitment to improve the safety and efficiency of this primary highway connection to the north,” Barnett said. “Through these important infrastructure improvements, we are building projects that grow the economy and create jobs in communities like Williams Lake.”
The ministry will be moving ahead with the first project of this phase; a four-laning project south of Williams Lake, near Knife Creek Road. The ministry will commit a further $1 million to conduct engineering and development work on the first four projects of Phase 3. The engineering and design work will begin immediately.
“The Province of B.C. has worked hard over the years to expand capacity and improve safety of the Highway 97 corridor from Cache Creek to Prince George,” said Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes. “Our commitment continues with a further investment of $200 million to kick off the third phase of this strategy.”
Through the Cariboo Connector Program, $240 million was invested for 18 projects in Phase 1, all of which have been completed. Phase 2 of the program began in April 2012 with a provincial commitment of $200 million for nine projects. Six are now complete, two are in construction and the last project was recently tendered. The final project of Phase 2 – four-laning of Highway 97 from Carson Road to Toop Road – will be completed by fall of 2018. With the completion of Phase 2, almost 50% of the 440-kilometre corridor will be either three or four lanes.
The Cariboo Connector Program is a key component of the B.C. on the Move, the province’s 10-year plan to improve B.C.’s transportation network. Over the next three years the ministry and its partners are investing over $4.6 billion in priority transportation investments throughout the province.
This $200-million commitment to upgrade Highway 97 between Cache Creek and Prince George is one of the ways B.C. government is taking action to strengthen and grow rural communities.
The B.C. government is working with rural British Columbians to help them build, grow and diversify their communities so they can create jobs and remain competitive in today’s rapidly changing economy. In 2016-17 alone, the government invested $3.6 billion in economic development activities targeted at rural B.C., such as improving connectivity and transportation infrastructure, and supporting Aboriginal people and young adults.
B.C. on the Move is available online at www.gov.bc.ca/bconthemove
For more information on the B.C. Rural Economic Development Strategy: http://ow.ly/28tI309GhrV