B.C. on the Move
by the Ministry of Tranportation and Infrastructure
The Government of B.C. has recently launched B.C. on the Move, a 10-year transportation plan that provides a comprehensive road map for transportation investments and strategic policy actions over the next 10 years.
Over the first three years of the plan, the Ministry of Transportation and infrastructure will invest almost $2.5 billion to improve B.C.’s transportation network. This investment will help us to improve the safe and reliable movement of people and goods. It will support a growing economy and the expanding resource sector. It will help us maintain and replace aging infrastructure and meet the needs of a growing and aging population.
In the Northeast, a large network of numbered highways and side roads – including many designated heavy-haul routes – is necessary for providing access to the natural gas, agricultural, mining and forestry industries, and supporting other economic development and recreational opportunities.
B.C. on the Move prioritizes improvements to highways and side roads, with $380 million over the next three years to resurface provincial highways, $270 million for improvements to side roads and $60 million over the next three years to upgrade roads in northeastern B.C. in support of the natural gas industry.
In the Northwest, the growing industrial development activity in the area associated with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), combined with the expansion of the Port of Prince Rupert, has led to increased truck and rail traffic, creating a need for continued investment in transportation infrastructure priorities.
Through B.C. on the Move, the Province is committing to seven new passing lanes on Highway 16 and 37 in the next three years alone, and to take action to reduce road/rail conflicts.
Because B.C.’s rapidly expanding resource sector is driving rapid growth in traffic at airports, including the Terrace-Kitimat and Prince Rupert airports, the Province is establishing a new B.C. Air Access Program – with provincial investment of $24 million over the next three years to make funding available to community airports for infrastructure improvements, such as runways, terminal buildings and lighting.
As well, for first time ever, government has included a Provincial Trucking Strategy in our 10-year plan. Trucking is critical to our economy, with over $3 billion in goods trucked between our gateway ports and the rest of Canada every year. That’s why increasing the economic efficiency while enhancing safety of the commercial trucking industry is a top priority for our government.
We recognize Prince George is the gateway to our resource-rich north. And we understand the importance of key corridors such as Highways 97, 16 and 5 through central and northern B.C.
As part of our trucking strategy, we are committing to upgrade and replace structures such as bridges and overpasses so they can accommodate increasingly heavy and large loads.
In the immediate future, we are going to undertake design work for the replacement of the Salmon River Bridge and Parsnip Bridge on Highway 97 North so that they can handle the higher, wider loads needed to support our resource industries and the jobs they create.
As we move forward with improvements in our transportation network through B.C. on the Move, it’s important that we appropriately prioritize projects to maximize our investment, based on safety and economic opportunity, along with the jobs and industrial activity that they could support.
Priorities in B.C. on the Move will also be driven by partnerships. It’s important that we continue to work with First Nations, local governments, the federal government and the private sector to move priorities along. In fact, where partners are committed to sharing costs and providing resources to mutual priorities, the Province will actively pursue and invest in such projects.
B.C. on the Move reinforces government’s commitment to invest in transportation infrastructure in every corner of the province. This plan will enhance our safety, mobility and connectivity, allowing us to keep pace with our rapidly expanding resource sectors and ensuring that transportation improvements remain affordable.