Improvements to Highway 97 underway

Two improvement projects worth $6.9-million to Highway 97 in the area of Chetwynd have begun.

The projects will focus on replacing the Wildmare Bridge and repairing frost-damaged portions of Highway 97.

The provincial government said in a press release that replacing the Wildmare Bridge will help accommodate an increased amount of traffic, including vehicles with heavy and large loads. The new bridge will be wider and higher than the last one, and is expected to operational by November 2015.

The other major project will involve the reconstruction of 300 metres of road, including the installation of a 100-millimetre-thick insulation layer to prevent future frost damage. The road work is expected to be complete by September 2015.

“Highway 97 is a vital corridor in B.C.’s northern region,” Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone said in a press release. “It is important to me and this government to support economic growth by making this route safer and more accessible.”

The province plans on investing over $380-million over the next three years to resurface provincial highways, with a goal of resurfacing over 1,000 kilometres annually. On top of that figure, $180-million will also be allocated over the next three years to replace and repair provincial bridges.