Premier Announces Investments in Capital Projects, Transportation Infrastructure
Economy, Families, Transportation Friday, September 28, 2012 10:55 AM

VICTORIA - Premier Christy Clark has detailed her plans to keep British Columbia growing and provide support for local communities - including more than $200 million in capital projects across the province, the four-laning of the Trans-Canada Highway from Kamloops to the Alberta border and starting the process to replace the George Massey Tunnel.

"We are taking some very important steps to drive the BC Jobs Plan forward," Premier Clark told delegates to the annual meeting of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. "By planning to replace the George Massey Tunnel and maintaining our commitment to complete four-laning of the Trans-Canada, we are supporting the communities that depend on them and growing our economy."

"Our goal is to see the entire Trans-Canada Highway four-laned from Kamloops to Alberta," said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Mary Polak. "We'll be working with our federal government to seek matching funds to improve this corridor, which connects our Pacific Gateway with the rest of Canada. And we've heard the concerns from the communities south of the Fraser River about congestion through the Massey tunnel. My ministry will engage these local governments in the initial discussions on what a replacement might look like."

Premier Clark also announced $207 million in new capital investments for transportation, housing, education and health facility projects to improve services in communities across the province including:

  • Expanding the 16th Avenue interchange in Surrey; and,
  • Improving K-12 public schools across B.C., including the communities of Nanaimo, Campbell River, Houston, Surrey, Richmond, Mission, Maple Ridge and West Vancouver.

"These are new projects that we can get started this year but this capital investment is not new money. It is money we have saved from pinching our pennies. I am very proud of that," added Premier Clark.

B.C.'s capital plan is on track and is being managed to stay in line with government's annual debt/GDP targets and maintain B.C.'s strong triple-A credit rating to keep debt affordable. The taxpayer-supported capital spending will be $10.5 billion over the next three years, as per the recently released Q1 Report. Since 2001/02, government has invested more than $44 billion in capital spending on infrastructure.

"Prudent fiscal management has allowed us to bring forward and add necessary projects in our capital plan, while keeping our debt-to-GDP ratio on track and affordable, protecting our triple-A credit rating," said Michael de Jong, Minister of Finance. "These represent affordable investments in projects that touch B.C. families - our schools, hospitals, social housing and roads."

"Moving ahead on a replacement for the George Massey Tunnel is good news for families and businesses in our community," said Acting Mayor of Delta Scott Hamilton. "Reducing congestion and improving transportation connections will help enhance the quality of life Delta residents enjoy, and we look forward to being a key contributor as consultations on this much-needed improvement move forward."

"We wholeheartedly support the government's efforts to continue these much-needed improvements to the Trans-Canada Highway and we look forward to working with the Province as projects are prioritized and as work moves forward to improve safety for local families and all highway users," said Revelstoke Mayor David Raven.


Mike Morton
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
250 588-8380

Jamie Edwardson
Communications Director
Ministry of Finance
250 356-2821

Kate Trotter
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
250 356-8241

One backgrounder follows.


$650M Committed to Trans-Canada Hwy. Improvements, Massey Tunnel Plans

At the 2012 UBCM meeting, Premier Christy Clark has announced a total of $650-million over 10 years to continue four-lane improvements to the Trans-Canada Highway between Kamloops and the Alberta border. In addition to the $141 million from our current three-year service plan, my government is allocating another $509 million over the next 10 years, for a total of $650 million.

This builds on the over $700 million that the provincial and federal governments have invested in the Trans-Canada Highway since 2001, which has added more than 45 km of new four laning from Kamloops to the Alberta border.

Over the last 10 years, over $6 billion has been invested to improve the provincial highway system in the Lower Mainland to keep people and goods flowing across and through the region. Key projects include:

  • Construction of the $3.3-billion Port Mann Bridge replacement and Highway 1 improvement project.
  • Construction of the $1.264-billion South Fraser Perimeter Road project.
  • Completion of the $198-million Pitt River Bridge and Mary Hill Interchange project.
  • Completion of the $297-million Border Infrastructure project, including four-laning of both Highways 10 and 15
  • Completion of $60-million of bus and HOV lanes on Highway 99 and the Lougheed Highway.

The government of British Columbia will also immediately begin planning and project development to establish a concept and scope for replacement of the George Massey Tunnel. The four-lane George Massey Tunnel under the Fraser River was built in 1958. It now carries over 80,000 people each day, and is the only major Fraser River crossing in Metro Vancouver, with a single lane of traffic in the off-peak direction during the morning and evening commute.

The counter-flow system at the tunnel was put in place in the late 1980s and has served the region well, but Highway 99 is now congested for more than four hours every day in both directions. Population growth in Metro Vancouver is set to increase by one million people by 2031. In that time, traffic volumes on major highways are expected to grow by over 30 per cent. With container capacity at Port Metro Vancouver set to more than double by 2030, truck traffic between Delta, Surrey, and Richmond will contribute to this increase.


Kate Trotter
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
250 356-8241

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