A tentative agreement between the provincial government and the Williams Lake Indian Band will see the four-laning of Highway 97 from the Williams Lake Indian Reserve #1 to Lexington Road.
Chief Anne Louie says the project is a massive undertaking and acknowledged another partnership with Lake Excavating.
“Partnerships with these companies such as Lake Excavating is instrumental in working with us at Mt. Polley and will be our main partner during the construction of this project and will assist Williams Lake Band to have a brighter future for our community and its’ members.”
Louie says the $47 million dollar project is the beginning of new things for the Band in terms of employment opportunities and economic development.
Construction will also begin on a new on-reserve frontage road that will link the Williams Lake Indian Band’s Coyote Rock Development Project and other development lands with new Highway 97 construction.
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone says the project which is part of the province’s ongoing commitment to widening the highway corridor from Cache Creek to Prince George builds on safety.
“Twenty-two four laning projects have been finished on the Cariboo Connector and not a single fatality, not a single major collision has taken place on a single kilometer of those 22 projects,” he says.
“I think that’s something we should all be really proud of, and that’s why we need to continue to four-lane the Cariboo Connector because first and foremost, it is about safety.”
Construction on the project which will add over 6 km over four-laning, is anticipated for this fall with completion scheduled for 2017.
Stone who was in Quesnel on Wednesday announced $5.8 million dollars for resurfacing roughly 35 kilometers of Highway 97 and over 6 kilometers of side roads.
The resurfacing will include Highway 97 between Quartz Road and the Highway 26 junction, between Naver Road and Plett Road and along the approach to the weigh scale located south of the junction of Highway 97 and Highway 26.
Stone also announced $300,000 to do a Highway 97 corridor analysis to determine the long-term transportation needs of Quesnel and to assess the economic potential of the much talked about the east-west connector.