Shortly after taking power in the summer of 2017, the B.C. NDP Government cancelled two projects to expand Highway 1.
The Kamloops-Chase expansion was supposed to be first step toward four-laning the Highway all the way from Kamloops to the Alberta border. Upgrading the highway to a modern, 100 km/h, four-lane standard, would allow traffic to move more safely and efficiently. Communities will be better connected, and businesses will be better able to move their products throughout the province, through our ports and beyond our borders.
Since ICBA began pushing back on this, Transportation Minister Claire Trevena has said her government is committed to the Kamloops-chase project. But until we see shovels in the ground, we need to keep the pressure up.
The news is not so good for the Langley-Abbotsford Highway 1 project. The previous government had committed to a $235-million project to widen the highway from 202nd St. all the way to the Sumas exit. Construction was set to start in 2017 on the first phase, a $113-million six-laning from 202nd to 264th. But Trevena has quashed it.
We need this highway to be brought to a standard befitting the massive growth in the Fraser Valley. They are the 5th (264th/Hwy 1) and 7th (232nd/Hwy 1) most likely places to get into an accident in the Lower Mainland. With the new 216th Street interchange about to open, the widening is needed more than ever.
Widening the highway would create 700 construction jobs.