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NEWS RELEASE · 7th April 2010
Ministry of Transportation
Residents and travellers in the Prince George and South Cariboo regions will benefit from improvements to Highway 97, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Shirley Bond and Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Pat Bell announced today.

"Our government recognizes the need to invest in rural and northern highway infrastructure to support the ongoing development of the North as a transportation hub," said Bond. "By targeting infrastructure funds to these projects, we can get to work quickly to improve this important corridor as part of our Cariboo Connector strategy."

"Highway 97 is a vital link for industry, trade and tourism," said Bell. "These highway improvements are supporting economic growth by making it safer and more efficient to move goods and people between northern B.C. and the southern interior."

Three contracts have been awarded to widen sections of Highway 97 from two lanes to four lanes.

Jacob Brothers Construction Limited of Surrey has been awarded a $12-million contract to replace the two-lane Stone Creek Bridge south of Prince George with a new, four-lane bridge, and widen 1.5 km of Highway 97 south of the bridge. Work is underway and is expected to finish in March 2011.

An $11-million contract has been awarded to Cougar Rock Contracting Ltd. of Kamloops to widen 3.5 km of Highway 97 to four lanes from 148 Mile to Likely Road in 150 Mile House. In addition, the two-lane Borland Creek Bridge will be replaced with a new four- lane structure and a new pedestrian underpass will be built at Pigeon Road and Highway 97. Work will begin this spring, with completion scheduled for the summer of 2011.

Cantex-Okanagan Construction Ltd. of Penticton has been awarded a $4.4-million contract to realign and widen two kilometres of Highway 97 through the Cargyle Curves, 14 km south of Clinton. Work is underway and expected to finish this fall.

The Cariboo Connector is a long-term strategy to four-lane Highway 97 between Prince George and Cache Creek. More than $240 million of worth projects have been completed or initiated to date.

Across northern British Columbia alone this year, over $200 million has been committed to 70 new and ongoing highway projects that are expected to create over 1,200 jobs. This brings the total transportation investment in the North since 2001-02 to $1.5 billion.

These three Cariboo Connector projects are funding partnerships with the federal government under the Building Canada Fund or the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. The $4-billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund provides funding to provincial, territorial and municipal construction-ready infrastructure projects. Since March 2009, almost 400 projects have received a total federal investment of over $490 million under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund across British Columbia.