Construction on two projects that will improve safety on the Trans-Canada Highway east of Kamloops kicked off on Tuesday, July 29.
The two Highway 1 projects include Phase 2 of the Monte Creek to Pritchard project, and Phase 1 of the Pritchard to Hoffman’s Bluff project. The governments of Canada and British Columbia are investing $110.6 million to improve Highway 1 between Monte Creek and Hoffman’s Bluff, with the Government of Canada contributing a maximum of $43.6 million through the Building Canada Fund.
Political dignitaries, including Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone attended a small ground-breaking ceremony marking the occasion.
“The Government of Canada is committed to making sure our roads are safe, modern and efficient,” states McLeod in a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) press release. “By investing in these projects, we are helping to improve safety and ease traffic congestion for residents and travellers along these heavily-used stretches of Highway 1.”
Stone said the projects are part of the province’s commitment to continue upgrading the Trans-Canada Highway to four lanes between Kamloops and Alberta, improving safety for all highway users.
MOTI and local First Nations communities worked collaboratively during the archaeological investigation and mitigation phases of these projects, and will continue to work together, minimizing impacts and preserving culturally significant sites during construction.
“The Neskonlith Indian Band supports the safety improvements that these highway projects will bring,” said Neskonlith Chief Judy Wilson. “We are pleased with the work in developing a protocol for ancestral remains finds with government, and are encouraged by the direct involvement the Neskonlith community has had with the archaeological works.”
Last fall, Phase 1 of the Monte Creek to Pritchard project was completed, expanding a three-kilometre section of the Trans-Canada Highway from two lanes to four lanes between the Monte Creek Interchange to east of Bostock Road. Phase 2 of the project will widen a further 7.5-kilometre section of Highway 1 to four lanes, and includes a grade-separated interchange at Pritchard.
The total cost of this project is $49 million. The federal government committed $16.7 million to the project through the Building Canada Fund. Completion is scheduled for the summer of 2015.
The Pritchard to Hoffman’s Bluff project is the second Trans-Canada Highway project now underway. This will widen a 5.8-kilometre section to four lanes, and construct a new, safer intersection at Stoney Flats Road.
The Pritchard to Hoffman’s Bluff project will be completed in two phases. Phase 1 will widen a 2.8-kilometre section to four lanes, and is valued at $19.3 million, with completion scheduled for 2014.
Phase 2 of the project will realign and widen the remaining three-kilometre segment of the Trans-Canada Highway through Hoffman’s Bluff. It is anticipated this next phase will go to tender in 2014.