The final section of the Old Spences Bridge is removed March 11

Bridges, blacktop in B.C. transportation plan

10-year program includes trucking strategy and provincial cost sharing for community airports and bike lanes

A 50 per cent increase in bridge rehabilitation and 1,000 km of highway repaving each year are included in a 10-year transportation plan released Tuesday by B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone.

The plan also includes $24 million over three years to pay a provincial share of community airport improvements and an $18 million fund for bike lanes and cycling trails.

A province-wide trucking strategy is also included in the plan, which restates several projects previously announced by the government. They include work on a replacement for the Massey tunnel under the Fraser River in South Delta, planning for a second bridge across Okanagan Lake at Kelowna, and conversion of BC Ferries vessels to use liquefied natural gas fuel.

Overall the plan includes $800 million over three years to upgrade existing infrastructure and nearly $1 billion toward expansion of major highways.

With an eye to an aging as well as growing population, disabled access projects are to include accessible washrooms and curbs at highway rest areas and wheelchair accessible taxis in communities around B.C.

NDP transportation critic Claire Trevena called the 10-year plan “insulting to the people of B.C.,” with only three years of funding promised and most of the improvements already announced.

“There are lots of vague promises that have been made for many years,” Trevena said. “For instance the four-laning of the Trans-Canada to the Alberta border, finishing off the Cariboo Connector, finishing off bridges.

“If you’re investing in bridges, let’s get some strategic analysis of our bridges, and where we need them and how we’re going to pay for them.”

With ballots going out to Metro Vancouver voters for a plebiscite on funding new transportation improvements through a regional 0.5% sales tax, the provincial plan focuses heavily on rural areas. It includes an increase to $270 million over three years to upgrade provincial side roads and $60 million for resource roads in the northeast B.C. gas patch.

One major commitment for the Lower Mainland is to continue the six-laning of Highway 1 from Langley to Abbotsford.

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: One dead, two in hospital after Highway 1 crash near Bridal Falls

Closure expected to last hours, while drivers are told to take detours

Pawnshops support curbing crime with digital database

At least two pawnshops in Penticton are in support of upgrading to a digital list of items purchased

B.C.’s devastating 2017 wildfire season revisited in new book

British Columbia Burning written by CBC journalist Bethany Lindsay

Walk to end abuse for those who can’t

SOWINS’s Debbie Scarborough points to the lethal potential in intimate partner abuse

Evacuation orders lifted around Osoyoos Lake

An evacuation order lifted for 15 properties around lake

Buy a lotto ticket and be a hero to B.C. burn victims

The Hometown Heroes Lottery is offering up seven grand prizes including a home in Lake Country

UPDATE: Grass fire burns near Mission Hill winery

Smoke can be seen around West Kelowna as a fire gets underway near Mission Hill

Vernon SAR manager wins national volunteer award

A Vernon Search and Rescue manager was one of those honoured for her dedication and innovation.

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Five simultaneous events organized by month-old Suits and Boots lobby group

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

Most Read