Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson says he is thrilled on behalf of the community following yesterday’s announcement that three Highway 97 project in the community will be going ahead.
And Simpson says the work that was announced for Front Street to improve traffic flow and safety was even more than they were expecting…
‘We originally thought it might be some line painting and putting in the turn lane down the middle allowing that north traffic to flow more freely, but now they’ve added in the LED lighting on all of the corners, that has long been asked by the residents, particularly in Fraser Village and over at the hospital that are moving back and forth. Even at the walking bridge. The lighting there, especially in the winter, has not been good. So it’s good that they are doing the LED lighting and they still have in there, that they plan to do pedestrian improvements, and we’re working with them to understand what that is.”
Simpson says all of the work will be done at night and it will start later in the summer when the Reid Street project is further along.
Simpson says the advanced design work for improvements in the Racing Road/Hydraulic Road area is also welcomed…
“I don’t have the numbers in front of me but certainly there have been a number of fatalities there that are directly related to how unsafe those intersections are, particularly the one at Racing Road and there’s been lots of fender benders at Hydraulic Road as it comes onto the Highway, so without question it’s the locus of a lot of accidents.”
And finally, he says the money to do engineering work on the proposed North-South Interconnector route is particularly encouraging because they are also going to begin the business case development to go after the funding to turn it into a real project….
“For the first time ever we have an agreed upon route between the City and the Ministry of Transportation that is fully supported by our business community. It’s supported by every major employer, including all of our industrial employers who use that route for moving their goods around within the community and through the community, so we’ve never been in that situation, and we’ve never been in a situation where the Ministry is going to do a full engineering work up and actually put a business case together as to why this project should be funded. So this is a situation we’ve never experienced before. We have turned the page in terms of having a route that is going to be studied and analyzed and put in front of the treasury board at some point as a project. And i think people can take some comfort that we’re making the kind of progress that people have been looking for for a number of decades now.”
All of these improvements are part of the Quesnel Transportation Study that included community engagement throughout the process, with open houses in April of 2017 and again in February of 2018.