People who live in the Shuswap region will benefit from future improvements to the Trans-Canada Highway, stretching from Ford Road to Tappen Valley Road, as provincial government funding has been approved.

Work on the approximately 4.3-kilometre section of highway will include expanding the two-lane highway to four lanes, replacing the aging Tappen overhead and constructing frontage roads. This project is part of the Highway 1 Four-Laning Program, which is increasing safety, reliability and efficiency for people travelling on the Trans-Canada Highway, including commercial truck drivers.

“Safe and efficient transportation networks support trade, a strong regional economy and local jobs,” said Ken Hardie, MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells, on behalf of Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “The provincial funds being announced today, in addition to the $82.1 million previously announced by the Government of Canada for the four-laning project in the Shuswap region, will ensure residents, visitors and all traffic coming through this area benefit from a modern and safe highway infrastructure for years to come, and will also create good jobs at a time they are needed most. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country and builds safer, more inclusive communities.”

The provincial government will contribute $161 million, with the project expected to go to tender in early 2022. The Government of Canada had previously announced its $82.1-million contribution toward the $243.1 million project.

The project is located through Little Shuswap Lake Band IR#5. The project will improve the safety of access on and off the Trans-Canada Highway and will improve connections within the Little Shuswap Lake community.

“Our community has been working with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for over five years to improve safety and infrastructure for our membership,” said Kukpi7 Arnouse, Little Shuswap Lake Band. “We are pleased to see the project moving forward.”

A new eastbound commercial carrier pullout will be built, which will benefit commercial drivers who travel along this route. Also, wider shoulders and the frontage road system will support cyclists, pedestrians and people using other modes of active transportation.

“Investment in our infrastructure has never been more important as we work together to recover from COVID-19,” said Rob Fleming, B.C.‘s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “The four-laning of the highway, the new commercial truck pullout and other improvements will increase safety and connections through the Little Shuswap Lake community and make this a safer, more reliable route for all drivers, including commercial truck drivers carrying essential goods. Once the project starts next year, it will provide good jobs for people, further helping to spur our economic recovery as we strive to build back better than ever.”

Upgrading the highway to a modern, 100 km/h, four-lane standard will allow traffic to move more safely and efficiently. Communities will be better connected, and businesses will be better able to move their products throughout the province and through B.C.’s ports.

The Province has committed $837 million to upgrading Highway 1 between Kamloops and the Alberta border over the next three years under Budget 2021.

Featured image: (BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

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