People living on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands are benefiting from nearly $10 million in transportation investments made to support the region during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, 20 projects ranging from active transportation improvements and transportation upgrades in rural and remote communities, to climate adaptation projects have been completed. Throughout the province, more than 180 projects received economic recovery funding.
“Investment in our transportation infrastructure has never been more important as we focus on recovery from the pandemic,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “These infrastructure recovery projects are important for communities as they improve access to crucial services and provide good jobs that lay the foundation for strong economic growth.”
Through StrongerBC, the Province has provided:
- nearly $5 million for projects focused on active transportation safety and access improvements on provincial right-of-ways. Projects included multi-use pathways and rail trails, highway crossings, transit stop improvements, sidewalk installations, lighting enhancements and shoulder widening that make active modes of transportation safer and more accessible;
- more than $4 million to support projects focused on climate adaptation to improve the resiliency of the region’s highway network and decrease the negative effects of climate events, including flooding, wildfires and erosion. Projects included riverbank erosion protection, creek channel training, culvert upsizing, flood protection works, slope erosion protection and avalanche system maintenance; and
- more than $1 million to support projects focused on upgrading side and secondary roads in rural and remote communities. These projects were part of a $418-million investment to revitalize community infrastructure, enhance connections between communities and help get people back to work. Projects included paving, shoulder widening, lighting installation and crosswalk markings.
One major project to mitigate the effects of severe climate events is the remediation and replacement of 119 drainage culverts on Vancouver Island. The culverts along Highway 19A from Storey Creek to Union Bay were upgraded to ensure continued capacity and functionality of the highway during future climate events.
“As we have all felt in recent weeks, more extreme weather events are here,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “Our government is already taking action to mitigate the impact of these changes to the highways and infrastructure Islanders rely on. As the frequency of these events increases, British Columbians can have confidence in the reliability of their highway networks.”
StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan is one of the ways government is working to support businesses impacted by the pandemic, while building toward a more innovative, sustainable and inclusive economic future.
Learn more about B.C.'s strategy for more active transportation:
Learn more about B.C.'s strategy for climate adaptation:
Learn more about B.C.’s economic recovery plan, StrongerBC: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.