More than $56 million is being invested by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure this year to keep highways and roads in the South Peace safe and efficient, supporting B.C. families and the region’s economy.

A number of projects are already underway or will begin this summer, with completion this fall. The following three are the largest projects taking place, and will be completed in 2015.

A $21.8 million contract has just been awarded to Jacob Bros. Construction Ltd. for work to begin on widening two kilometres of Highway 97 starting at the base of South Taylor Hill, one kilometre south of Taylor. This $26-million project is jointly funded by the Government of B.C. and the Government of Canada and completion is expected in September 2015.

As the province’s primary north-south route, Highway 97 is integral to the transport of goods and services. These improvements on South Taylor Hill will increase capacity, mobility, and reliability along this corridor and make travel safer and more efficient for residents, tourists and commercial traffic. The project will support economic growth in the natural gas, forestry and agricultural sectors in the region.

Two other major projects are underway on Highway 2. 5.6 kilometres between Rolla Road to 8th St. in Dawson Creek is being four-laned, along with intersection improvements, and is worth $21.4 million. In addition, 5.9 km of highway from Tupper Creek to 192nd Road near the Alberta border is being four-laned, along with the construction of two new bridges at Tupper Creek and Four Mile Creek, worth $21.8 million. These projects are also expected to be complete by fall 2015.

This year’s program also includes extensive investment in South Peace side roads through the ministry`s Oil and Gas Rural Road Improvement Program (OGRRIP). This program improves the side road system to facilitate the year-round movement of industrial traffic and enhances travel for local residents and farmers as well. Projects include side road gravelling, road rehabilitation, and paving. The largest project this year will be paving the entire length of Braden Road, a key collector route in the area and alternate route to the highway.