Thompson Okanagan communities benefit from economic recovery funding
Wednesday, July 14, 2021 7:39 AM
People living in British Columbia’s Thompson Okanagan region are benefiting from more than $9 million in transportation investments made to support the region during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, nearly 30 projects ranging from active transportation improvements and transportation upgrades in rural and remote communities, to climate adaptation projects have been completed. Throughout the province, more than 180 projects received economic recovery funding.
“Investment in our transportation infrastructure has never been more important as we focus on recovery from the pandemic,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “These infrastructure recovery projects are important for communities as they improve access to crucial services and provide good jobs that lay the foundation for strong economic growth.”
Through StrongerBC, the Province has provided:
- more than $1 million for projects focused on active transportation safety and access improvements on provincial right of ways. Projects included multi-use pathways and rail trails, highway crossings, transit stop improvements, sidewalk installations, lighting enhancements and shoulder widening that make active modes of transportation safer and more accessible;
- nearly $4 million to support projects focused on climate adaptation to improve the resiliency of the region’s highway network and decrease the negative effects of climate events, including flooding, wildfires and erosion. Projects included riverbank erosion protection, creek channel training, culvert upsizing, flood protection works, slope erosion protection and avalanche system maintenance; and
- nearly $4 million to support projects focused on upgrading side and secondary roads in rural and remote communities. These projects were part of a $418-million investment to revitalize community infrastructure, enhance connections between communities and help get people back to work. Projects included paving, shoulder widening, lighting installation and crosswalk markings.
In Merritt, Stump Lake flooding protection improvements were completed along Highway 5A. Construction to raise the profile of the highway above future flood levels will ensure no further impacts to the highway, providing more reliability along a key route connecting the communities between Merritt and Kamloops.
“As we’ve seen across the province throughout the spring freshet, rural communities rely on road networks that are resilient to escalating climate events,” said Roly Russell, MLA for Boundary-Similkameen. “This work helps ensure that British Columbians have safe passage in and out of our communities and homes, and recognizes how important active transportation is for our rural communities as well as our metro centres.”
StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan is one of the ways government is working to support businesses impacted by the pandemic, while building toward a more innovative, sustainable and inclusive economic future.
Learn more about B.C.’s strategy for more active transportation: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/transportation-environment/active-transportation
Learn more about B.C.’s strategy for climate adaptation: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/climate-change/adaptation
Learn more about B.C.’s economic recovery plan, StrongerBC: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.
Active transportation – more than $1 million invested
- Kamloops – design, construct and install new cattleguards tjat provide improved cyclist accommodations along East Shuswap Road.
- Kelowna – wheelchair accessibility and active transportation crossing improvements at Airport Way.
- Kelowna area – repairs and restoration of six kilometres of highway shoulder, improving cycling connectivity between Kelowna and Big White.
- Kettle Valley Rail Trail and in Myra Bellevue Provincial Park – repairs for trails and trestles, which includes trail remediation as well as handrail and decking replacement to improve safety for people walking and cycling.
- Salmon Arm – safety improvements for the Canoe School crossing on the Trans-Canada highway.
- Vernon – shoulder repaving to improve safety for cyclists along Old Kamloops Road and Commonage Road.
Climate adaptation – nearly $4 million invested
- Sicamous – armouring and drainage improvement as well as replacement of aging and undersized culverts along Solsqua Road.
- Summerland – Fish Lake Road drainage improvements including replacement of undersized culvert and repairs to road and surface.
- Summerland – Kettle Place drainage improvements including design for culvert installation and adjacent road repairs/maintenance.
- Penticton – design completed for culvert construction and adjacent road repairs and maintenance on Valiant Drive.
- Joe Rich – Highway 33 drainage improvements including 18 kilometres of ditching, culvert installations, armouring, and cleaning in area affected by wildfire.
- Merritt – H5A Stump Lake flooding protection including raising the profile of Highway 5A above future flood levels to ensure no further impacts to the highway.
- Simpcw – Norris Road shoulder erosion stabilization adjacent to Highway 5.
- Coquihalla Summit – Falls Lake avalanche catchment bench maintenance by removing deposits of rock and other material.
- Savona – installation of 2.99-metre concrete box culvert and stream works on Deadman Vidette Road at Joe Ross Creek.
- Darfield – repair of rip rap along Chinook Creek bank along Highway 5.
- Sicamous – Armouring and drainage improvements including replacing aging and undersized culverts along Highway 97A at Elliott Road.
Rural and remote communities – nearly $4 million invested
- Vernon – road strengthening, ditching, and shoulder widening along Cosens Bay Road.
- Seymour Arm – road strengthening, ditching, erosion repairs and rip rap for Seymour Arm Road and side roads.
- Princeton – production of High Fines Surfacing in Wright Pit for resurfacing of Summers Creek Road and side roads.
- Trout Creek – production of 12,000 cubic metres aggregate at Big White Pit for resurfacing McCulloch Road to improve access to KVR Trail.
- Winfield – production of 6,000 cubic metres aggregate at Winfield Pit for resurfacing Dee Lake Road to improve access to community and park.
- Kelowna area – grading, ditching and culvert installation for improved regional park access along Chute Lake Road.
- Barriere – placement of 5,000 cubic metres of High Fines Surfacing along Heffley Louis Creek Road.
- Savona – placement of 5,000 cubic metres of High Fines Surfacing along Deadman Vidette Road.
- Merritt – Patchett Road strengthening and gravel surfacing.
- Merritt – Bob’s Lake Pit Road strengthening and gravel surfacing.
- Merritt – gravel resurfacing of 15 kilometres of Kane Valley Road.
- Merritt – gravel resurfacing of 15 kilometres of Midday Valley Road.
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