WILLIAM LAKE - A tentative agreement between the B.C. government and the Williams Lake Indian Band to move forward on four-laning Highway 97 through the Williams Lake Indian Reserve #1 from 150 Mile House to Lexington Road, was announced by Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone today.
As part of B.C. on the Move, the Province’s new 10-year transportation plan, work will begin later this year to widen this stretch of Highway 97 south of Williams Lake as part of the Province’s ongoing commitment to widen the highway corridor from Cache Creek to Prince George.
This project is an important part of Phase 2 of the $200-million Cariboo Connector Program and will add over six kilometres of four-laning, as well as turning and deceleration lanes. 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.
This investment builds on the $240 million already invested through Phase 1 of the Cariboo Connector program.
The tender for the new $47-million project is anticipated for this fall with completion scheduled for late fall 2017. The next phase is for the agreement to be approved by the Williams Lake Indian Band community before being finalized.
B.C. on the Move is government’s new 10-year plan for the improvement of the province’s transportation network. It provides a comprehensive road map for transportation investments and strategic policy actions over the next decade. The actions prioritized in B.C. on the Move will grow the economy, maintain and replace aging infrastructure, and support trade for B.C.’s expanding resource sectors through Canada’s Pacific Gateway.
Over the next three years, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will invest almost $2.5 billion to improve British Columbia’s transportation network.
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone -
“We’re very pleased that we’ve reached this crucial step with Williams Lake Indian Band on a tentative agreement to begin this four-laning project. As a vital link to northern parts of the province, work to four-lane Highway 97 through the Cariboo Connector Program is a key component of our B.C. on the Move 10-year transportation plan.”
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett -
“The Cariboo Connector Program is important for the region, and this tentative agreement with the Williams Lake Indian Band allows us to continue the important work being done to improve safety and increase capacity on Highway 97, benefitting residents, tourists, and commercial traffic travelling through the area.”
Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes -
“We’re excited to work together with the Williams Lake Indian Band to move forward on four-laning this section of Highway 97. Improvements and investments to the safety and efficiency of our highways have significant, positive effects on how our residential, commercial and tourist traffic moves throughout the Cariboo and across the province.”
Williams Lake Indian Band Chief Ann Louie -
“This announcement is the culmination of many years of effort, and we’re very excited to be moving forward with the four-laning. The Highway 97 works, combined with our Coyote Rock Development Project, will have a very positive impact on our community and our region. Not only will it result in enhanced traffic movement and improved safety on this section of the highway, it will also facilitate economic development and provide much needed opportunity for our members and other residents of the Cariboo.”
B.C. on the Move is available online at: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/transportationplan/
Learn more about transportation projects happening throughout B.C. at: www.th.gov.bc.ca/tranprojectsbc/
Follow the work of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure online at: www.tranbc.ca
Government and Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure