Brief: Funding for Trans-Canada Highway project west of Salmon Arm

The federal and provincial governments announced a $163 million highway upgrade for the Trans-Canada Highway west of Salmon Arm on Sept. 22. Also, construction of the North Fork Bridge over the Perry River will start this fall.

Trans-Canada Highway sign. File photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer file photo

The federal and provincial governments announced a $163 million highway upgrade for the Trans-Canada Highway west of Salmon Arm on Sept. 22.

The Salmon Arm West project will upgrade the highway west of the downtown core of Salmon Arm, and through two First Nations communities (Neskonlith Indian Band IR#3 and Adam’s Lake Indian Band IR#7). The project will widen Highway 1 to four lanes, upgrade connections to the adjacent and existing road network, and replace the Salmon River Bridge.

The Government of Canada is contributing up to $48.5 million to the Salmon Arm West Project. The Government of British Columbia is contributing the remaining $114.2 million for a total estimated project cost of $162.7 million.

In a statement, B.C. transportation minister Todd Stone said the project is a priority: “Salmon Arm is an important hub along the Trans-Canada Highway for communities, visitors, and those hauling goods. The upgrade announced today will add more lanes to keep traffic moving and improve safety, particularly at the Salmon River Bridge, which is why this project was listed as a priority in our B.C. on the Move plan. Through the Salmon Arm West project, we are also continuing to build positive relationships by closely working together with the Secwepemc Nation.”

The project is in design phase and the construction schedule was not immediately available. The three-phase project will widen 6.3 kilometres of the highway to four lanes.

North Fork Bridge construction to start in the fall

On Sept. 22, the provincial government also announced construction will begin soon on the North Fork bridge project to replace the aging structure and improve safety and access along the Trans-Canada Highway between Revelstoke and Sicamous.

“The Trans-Canada Highway is very busy with commercial traffic, recreational visitors, and local commuters, and I’m looking forward to seeing work get underway on this project that will improve capacity and make this section of the Trans-Canada Highway safer, more reliable, and more efficient for all travellers,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone.

The 58-year old bridge crosses over the Perry River and is located 40 kilometres west of Revelstoke.

Tybo Contracting Ltd. of Langley has been awarded a $15.7 million contract to build a new 4-lane bridge, expand a 3.8 kilometre section of highway to 4 lanes, resurface a further 2.2 kilometres of highway, and construct 1.6 kilometres of frontage roads with improved intersections and median barrier.

“It’s great that we’ll have crews out this year already on this 4-laning project for Highway 1 that will be especially beneficial to residents and the large number of tourists and commercial drivers travelling through the region,” said Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo.

Construction will start later this fall and is expected to be completed in 2018. Work will not occur over holiday weekends.