The federal government has announced $45.7 million in funding for a four-laning project between Jumping Creek and the Jack MacDonald Snowshed on the Trans-Canada Highway east of Revelstoke.
The announcement came on July 3. Federal Minister of Rural Economic Development, Bernadette Jordan, made the announcement at a noon event at the Tappen Community Hall.
There, Jordan announced $185 million in funding for six road projects in B.C. Four of them affect travel east and west of Revelstoke.
“Safe uncongested transportation routes keep people and goods moving smoothly and are essential to helping our businesses compete and improving people’s daily lives,” said Minister Jordan in a statement. “These important upgrades will get people where they need to go safely and smoothly while supporting the regional economy.”
The four-laning project is on a provincially operated section of the highway between Glacier national park and Mount Revelstoke national park. The project will expand 2.6 kilometres of the highway from two lanes to four, and add a median barrier. Culverts and retaining walls will also be upgraded.
The others include:
-$82.1 million for improvements to the Trans-Canada Highway from Ford Road to Tappen Valley Road in the Tappen area. A 4.3-kilometre section will be four-laned, the Tappen bridge will be replaced, and the frontage road system reconfigured.
-$31.5 million for four-laning the Trans-Canada Highway near Golden. A 2.5-kilometre stretch will be improved with four-laning, wildlife fencing and barriers.
-$18 million for Highway 93/95 corridor upgrades and improvements to the Radium intersection. Unspecified intersection improvements and corridor improvements to a 48-kilometre stretch.
The other two projects were smaller projects near Fort St. John and Jaffray.
The federal funding announcement backgrounder came without any further details about the projects, nor timelines. At the time of writing, the provincial government hadn’t posted an accompanying briefing on the projects.
The lag between funding announcements and boots and bulldozers on the ground can be years. The four-laning project will need to be coordinated with the provincial government.
The federal election is on Oct. 21, 2019. A spree of funding announcements is commonplace in the run-up to the official election period.
The federal government is funding the projects through the $180 billion Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.
The need for improvements to the Trans-Canada Highway around Revelstoke is a perennial top issue for Revelstoke residents. The highway between Revelstoke and Golden, B.C. is the deadliest in B.C. 38 people died on the 148-kilometre stretch in a period between 2004 and 2013.
Four-laning the highway allows for median dividers which reduce fatalities from head-on collisions.