The governments of Canada and British Columbia have announced up to $40 million in joint funding to upgrade a stretch of Highway 97 that is prone to accidents and landslides. Highway 97 is the primary route connecting British Columbia with Alaska and the Yukon. It is a main route for tourism and for transportation of natural resources from the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin.
The project involves the continuation of four lanes at the middle section of South Taylor Hill, 20 kilometres south of Fort St. John. In addition, the project will include grade and alignment improvements and extensive stabilization work to reduce the risk of slides and subsequent road closures. New wider, paved shoulders and painted medians will also contribute to highway safety.
“This next phase of work on South Taylor Hill will significantly increase safety for local traffic, for tourists and for commercial traffic supporting B.C.’s natural gas, forestry, and agricultural sectors,” said Todd Stone, B.C. minister of transportation and infrastructure. “It will create more than 120 direct jobs over the life of the project and support a key B.C. on the Move commitment to continue to four-lane Highway 97 between Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, and Highway 2 between the Alberta border and Dawson Creek.”
Once complete, the improvements will increase safety and keep the route open for use by local residents, tourists and commercial drivers passing through the South Taylor Hill area.
The Government of Canada will contribute up to $15 million through the Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure – National and Regional Projects. The province will contribute up to $25 million.