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Funds help remote and rural communities build vital infrastructure

Funds help remote and rural communities build vital infrastructure

December 11, 2020 at 11:25 am  BC, News, Politics

Through B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan, the Province has provided $28 million in funding that will go toward upgrading secondary, side and forest service roads while creating good jobs in rural and remote areas.

This one-time funding will help address projects that otherwise may not have been funded and is allocated to two programs: one resides with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the other with the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resources Operations.

Remote and Rural Communities program

  • The Remote and Rural Communities program, through the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, provides an opportunity to build and improve necessary infrastructure that people count on.
  • The $20 million allocated to this program is making possible more than 80 projects to improve rural side roads throughout B.C. over the next five months. Thirty-one projects are already complete and 37 projects are underway. Work includes:
    • local paving;
    • brushing, ditching and shoulder widening;
    • road strengthening and gravel placement;
    • lighting Installation;
    • crosswalks and traffic-calming pavement markings; and
    • gravel and rock production.
  • Most of the program is being delivered through maintenance contractors, local contractors and day labour through the ministry’s Hired Equipment program, with additional support from consulting and contracted services.
  • To date, 359 people have been employed through the program, providing local people with 3,872 days of work. The ministry anticipates more than 700 people will have been employed for more than 12,000 work days by the end of the program.

Completed projects with investments to date include:

Northern B.C. – $2.263 million invested

1. Highway 16/Highway 97, sideroads in the Prince George area were improved by pavement patching at slide locations.
2. Discovery Road in Prince George received base repairs, culverts and gravelling.
3. Highway 37, south of Dease Lake, received slide and road repairs.
4. Slide and washout repairs were made throughout the region.

Kootenays – $3.425 million invested

5. Highway 95A/Wycliffe Park Road, north of Cranbrook, was improved by the construction of a right-turn deceleration lane and reconfigured lighting.
6. Toby Creek Road in Invermere received road strengthening, drainage/culvert replacement and shoulder widening.
7. Kokanee Glacier Road in Kokanee Glacier Park received gravel road servicing, creating better access to mountain biking trails and the Nelson Zipline.
8. Saint Mary’s Lake Road in Kimberley was improved with base repairs, road strengthening and asphalt patching.
9. Mission Lower Road at the Ktunaxa Nation, north of Cranbrook, was improved with road strengthening, drainage improvements and shoulder widening.
10. Highway 31/Highway 6 in the Nakusp and Burton areas received roadside mechanical brushing.
11. Highway 31 in the Trout Lake area received gravelling.
12. Grand Forks area roads were improved with roadside brushing.

Thompson Okanagan and the Cariboo – $3.151 million invested

13. Highline Road was improved with brushing.
14. Nazko Road 59, west of Quesnel, received roadside brushing.
15. Summers Creek Road in the Princeton area was improved by resurfacing.
16. Heffley Creek Road received gravel surfacing.
17. North Bonaparte Road in the 100 Mile House area received road strengthening.
18. Midday Valley Road in Merritt received 15 km of gravel surfacing.
19. Canim Lake Road, Canim Lake, was improved by road strengthening.
20. Cosens Road in Vernon received road strengthening, ditching and shoulder widening.

South Coast – $2.641 million invested

21. Green Ranch Road in Boston Bar received grader patching over 2 km to repair potholes.
22. Marine Drive in Gibsons was resurfaced.
23. A portion of Daisy Lake Road, off the Sea to Sky Highway and leading to Rubble Creek Park, received resurfacing.
24. Sylvester Road and Farm Road in the Fraser Valley received ditching, brushing, gravelling and resurfacing, making the road better for everyone who uses it, including the high volume of heavy commercial vehicle traffic.
25. Finn Bay Road, north of Lund, was improved by pulverizing a section of road, then repairing the base and gravelling.
26. Atrevida Road in Powell River was improved with paving.
27. Dyke Road on Barnston Island received resurfacing through the Katzie First Nation.
28. Redroffs Road in Sechelt received asphalt resurfacing.

Vancouver and Gulf Islands – $.455 million invested

29. Tzouhalem Road in Duncan, traversing the Cowichan Tribe reserve lands, was improved with culvert replacement, riprap (rock) placement and stream enhancements for fish habitat.
30. Spalding Road on Pender Island was improved by rock scaling.
31. The Pacific Marine Circle Route, north of Port Renfrew, was improved with roadside brushing over 120 km to improve visibility for drivers.

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations, and Rural Development

  • The B.C. government manages about 60,000 kilometres of forest service roads (FSRs). These roads are typically one- or two-lane gravel roads that were built for industrial purposes to access natural resources in remote areas. The B.C. government carries out maintenance on FSRs where there is no longer an industrial user, but the road provides access to communities, rural residents and high-value recreation sites.
  • The $8.05 million allocated to this program will improve approximately 75 B.C. government-managed forestry roads.
  • Projects already underway include road and/or bridge upgrades and improvements to the following:
    • Zeballos FSR – mid-west coast of Vancouver Island
    • In-Shuck-ch FSR – near Pemberton/Lillooet
    • Clayton FSR – Bella Coola
    • Sechelt-Dakota-Grey FSR – Sechelt
    • Finlay FSR road network – Mackenzie, north of Prince George
    • Lillooet River/Hurley FSR – communities of Lillooet, Goldbridge, Pemberton
    • Beaver FSR – Prince George
    • Seymour Main FSR – communities of Seymour Arm, Salmon Arm, Chase, Sorrento, Celista
    • Criss Creek FSR – Kamloops
  • Completed projects include:
    • Vedder Mountain FSR – Chilliwack
    • Nusatsum FSR – Bella Coola
    • Side Bay FSR – northwest Vancouver Island
    • 7817 West Kalem FSR – Terrace
    • 4985 Suskwa FSR –  Hazelton
    • 7552 Hankin Evelyn FSR – Smithers

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