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  #1  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2009, 10:53 PM
amor de cosmos amor de cosmos is offline
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BC Cariboo Connector program

no thread for this yet but it must one of BC's bigger programs, with the Gateway Program in Greater Vancouver & Kicking Horse Canyon:

Quote:
Cariboo Connector

Economic growth in the oil and gas, forestry, mining and tourism industries have increased the need for a safe, reliable and efficient four-lane resource and trade highway that connects Northern B.C. with the Interior, through the heart of the province.

To meet this demand, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is building the first $200-million, five-year phase of the Cariboo Connector strategy to widen the 460-km portion of Highway 97 from Cache Creek to Prince George. The improved Highway 97 will increase safety and decrease traveling times while providing northern communities with a first-class trade corridor that will support increased commercial traffic that is meeting the needs of a rapidly expanding economy.

To complete the Cariboo Connector, a strategy has been identified to widen the most urgent portions of Highway 97 first. These portions are typically in urban areas and around industrial and commercial centres where high traffic volumes cause increased congestion.

While passenger vehicle traffic has grown along Highway 97 by about three per cent between 2000 and 2003, heavy truck traffic has grown by as much as 28 per cent and is expected to continue to grow. Traffic volumes currently range from 20,000 vehicles per day in major centres to 3,700 vehicles per day in the rural areas.

The Cariboo Connector will be four-laned over a number of years. The first phase of improvements will begin over a five-year period, with subsequent phases introduced in the future. In rural areas, four-laning will be done where passing lanes are required. Eventually, the remaining portions will also be four-laned.

In total, this construction is anticipated to cost $2 billion over an, as of yet, undetermined number of years.
http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/cariboo_connector/index.htm

more details in this slideshow:
http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/cariboo_conn...PP_%20Pres.pdf

a more detailed "to-do" list of projects is here:
http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/cariboo_connector/overview.htm

& a map of the area at the bottom of that page:


& the most recent announcement:
Quote:
August 23, 2009
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

PRINCE GEORGE CELEBRATES SIMON FRASER BRIDGE COMPLETION

PRINCE GEORGE – The Honourable Jay Hill, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and the Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River, the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Honourable Pat Bell, Minister of Forests and Range and MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie, today joined the community of Prince George to celebrate the official opening of the twinned Simon Fraser Bridge.

“The Government of Canada, under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is proud to be a partner in the Simon Fraser Bridge project,” said Minister Hill. “The completion of construction reaffirms our Government’s commitment to deliver real results to communities like Prince George through local job creation and regional economic stimulus.”

“The Simon Fraser Bridge is a key component of our Cariboo Connector strategy,” said Bond. ‘We recognize that Highway 97 is an essential part of our trade corridor and ongoing economic development opportunities. We also know that it is used daily by residents and tourists alike. We will continue in our commitment to improve important Northern highways and infrastructure like the Simon Fraser Bridge.”

The twinned Simon Fraser Bridge doubles the number of lanes from two to four. The four lanes across the Fraser River will connect the four lanes of Highway 97 north to the Queensway Interchange and south to Sintich Road. The bridge also includes a joint pedestrian and bicycle lane linking to trails in the Prince George area.

“By upgrading the Simon Fraser Bridge, we are investing in tourism and the expansion of the North,” said Bell. “This investment ensures safer travel for our visitors and residents and strengthens our community for the future.”

Twinning the Simon Fraser Bridge will reduce traffic congestion and save travel time for commuters, tourist and commercial vehicles crossing the bridge while improving highway safety. As well, it will bolster the connections between the Prince George Inland Container Terminal, the Prince George Airport and the Ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert as part of the Asia Pacific Gateway Strategy. The bridge expansion, as part of the Cariboo Connector strategy, is a key element in the continued development of Prince George as a major transportation hub, supporting the growth in mining, oil and gas, forest industry activity and encourages economic diversification in the North.

The $43-million project will increase the capacity of Highway 97 across the Fraser River for over 21,000 vehicles daily. The Province provided $27 million as part of the $240-million first phase of the Cariboo Connector strategy, initiated as part of a long-term plan to four-lane the 460-kilometre portion of Highway 97 between Prince George and Cache Creek. The federal government provided $16 million of the funding through the Mountain Pine Beetle Program under the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor initiative.
http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_rele...009-000249.htm
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2009, 12:01 AM
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Good for Prince George and the interior. I always wished they would twin hwy 5 north from Kamloops to Jasper and through the mountains...get me from Edmonton home faster.
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2009, 7:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bulliver View Post
Good for Prince George and the interior. I always wished they would twin hwy 5 north from Kamloops to Jasper and through the mountains...get me from Edmonton home faster.
That would be a crazy waste of money in the near term, given that the TCH isn't even 4 laned and highway 5 isn't that busy, its not that hard to maintain a decent speed on that highway even though its mostly 2 lane throughout.
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  #4  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2009, 7:48 PM
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Well these upgrades to hwy 97 are not being done due to high volumes on this highway either. The article states that they're doing it to help spur investment and to attract tourists to the area. Really the only bad things about that stretch of 97 are the slow drives through the towns and the logging & chip trucks. Aside for that it's not that busy a road.

I really don't see any point to upgrading hwy 5 either. Whenever I drive it I'm always able to travel at a good clip & there are lots of passing opportunities, unlike many sections of the TCH.
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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2009, 11:20 PM
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Yeah, the Cariboo Connector is projected to come in around $2 billion, but that twinning won't be completed for at least another 30 - 40 years due to relatively lower traffic counts.

And even then it will not be freeway standard -there will be no new interchanges - it will just be a "junior" 4-lane expressway standard highway.

BTW, here's a pic of the new Simon Fraser Bridge twin while still under construction:



Source: Flickr - diffuse
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  #6  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2009, 3:09 AM
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Fully agree with you daguy and 240glt, as this is the way I almost always go between Edmonton and the Okanagan even though it is 75-100k longer. I just wish it was twinned is all...
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  #7  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2009, 8:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulliver View Post
Fully agree with you daguy and 240glt, as this is the way I almost always go between Edmonton and the Okanagan even though it is 75-100k longer. I just wish it was twinned is all...
Well with the twinning in Banff nearing completion the feds have considered twinning highway 16 into Jasper as the traffic counts rise, so maybe in 10 or 15 years you can save a few minutes lol.
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  #8  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2009, 5:23 PM
dmuzika dmuzika is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 240glt View Post
Well these upgrades to hwy 97 are not being done due to high volumes on this highway either. The article states that they're doing it to help spur investment and to attract tourists to the area. Really the only bad things about that stretch of 97 are the slow drives through the towns and the logging & chip trucks. Aside for that it's not that busy a road.
I noticed they're only twinning Hwy 97 north of Cache Creek, what about Vancouver-Cache Creek? I know TCH 1 cannot be twinned due to terrain, otherwise it would have been twinned as opposed to the Coquihalla Hwy being constructed. I've also heard that Hwy 99 north of Whistler would be a massive project.
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Old Posted Aug 31, 2009, 8:06 PM
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I have thought about this as well. I think the best solution would be to twin the #1 from Cache Creek to Spences Bridge (this would be quite easy since the majority of the highway's alignment along this stretch is through flat desert patches) and then twin the 97C to Merrit, where it would connect to the #5.
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  #10  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2009, 10:21 PM
Oliver Klozov Oliver Klozov is offline
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Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
..... I think the best solution would be to twin the #1 from Cache Creek to Spences Bridge (this would be quite easy since the majority of the highway's alignment along this stretch is through flat desert patches) and then twin the 97C to Merrit, where it would connect to the #5.
97C goes from Merritt to Ashcroft not Spences Bridge. Trucks from Vancouver to the north would not take 1-5-97C-1-97; they would still just stay on #1 thru the canyon.
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Old Posted Aug 31, 2009, 10:49 PM
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Not if the new route was continuous 4 lanes and possibly grade separated at major intersections. In fact i know that would be the route I would take instead of the dangerous Canyon. Especially if it was given a simple routing designation to follow (such as calling the combined routs by their current names and a "Connector" name, akin to the 97C & Okanagan Connector naming scheme). In fact I don't think it would be to many kms more to travel either. Ashcroft to Merrit and Merrit to Hope is not really any longer than Aschcroft to Lytton and Lytton to Hope.
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  #12  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2009, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmuzika View Post
I noticed they're only twinning Hwy 97 north of Cache Creek, what about Vancouver-Cache Creek? I know TCH 1 cannot be twinned due to terrain, otherwise it would have been twinned as opposed to the Coquihalla Hwy being constructed. I've also heard that Hwy 99 north of Whistler would be a massive project.
Is that true? I had always heard that the feds floated the idea of twinning the TCH in the 70's (with massive tunneling) but opted to build the coq due to cost, higher design speed, shorter distance, and bypassing all the small towns along the route between Hope and Kamloops. I would assume that twinning is technically possible, but unlikely for many years due to cost.

Highway 99 north Whistler from what I read would only be four laned to a little north of Pemberton (until you hit that area with all the crazy turns and steep grades) and then upgraded 2 lane again through massive tunneling. I can't remember cost estimates but I seem to remember more than 1 billion and that is not a recent estimate.
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  #13  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 3:15 AM
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Quote:
100 Mile House Free Press
More paving for highway
Published: September 08, 2009 7:00 PM

Three more sections of Highway 97 between Clinton and 100 Mile House are going to be four-laned this month.

Shirley Bond, Transporta-tion and Infrastructure minister, and Donna Barnett, Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA, announced the $3.8 million contract was awarded to Okanagan Aggregates Ltd.

The four-laning will be done on 2.5 kilometres at 59 Mile North, two kilometres at Bullock Lake Road South and one kilometre at Stormy Road South.

“Once completed, these improvements will greatly reduce travel delays and provide a safer driving experience for everyone — from area motorists to commercial vehicle traffic,” said Barnett.

Bond said the upgrades are part of the Cariboo Connector program, which has surpassed $240 million.
http://www.bclocalnews.com/business/57889542.html
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  #14  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2009, 8:47 AM
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Old Posted Sep 25, 2009, 4:00 PM
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Who thinks that this grand 30-40 year program will actually be completed?

I guess if it is terminated at some point, having many sections of 4-lane (passing) along 97 won't be bad.

This project almost seems to be a way of maximizing 4-lane highway produced for the dollar, especially if the traffic volumes are not terribly bad. Is it relatively cheaper to widen along 97 than the TCH? My guess is yes.

I'd still prefer to see more money going towards making the TCH 4-lanes, including a bridge-bypass of Salmon Arm. If the feds are responsible for the route through National Parks, then fine... but 4-lane the rest of the TCH!
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Old Posted Sep 29, 2009, 9:08 AM
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will be great - so many times driving we would get stuck behind a slow car and not be able to pass for miles
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 6:30 AM
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Highway 1 will not be twinned between Hope and Kamloops. I wrote a letter to the Ministry of Transportation, and the told me that it only Cache Creek to Prince George will be, due to the high cost and the low demand.
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 10:11 PM
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That makes complete sense.

But what about Cache Creek to Kamloops?

Or is the eventually 4-laned Caribou Connector going to be "disconnected" from the rest of the 4-lane network?
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Old Posted Oct 6, 2009, 3:15 AM
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I was also thinking 4 lanes to Kamloops might make sense.
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Old Posted Dec 1, 2009, 2:56 AM
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Quote:
Northern BC Companies to Benefit from Proposed Pine Pass Improvements
Nov 30, 2009

PRINCE GEORGE, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Recently completed studies led by the Northern Development Initiative Trust and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure highlight the opportunities for economic growth in northern BC if improvements are made to several structures in the Pine Pass. The studies focused on eight low clearance overhead railway crossings and the Salmon River and Parsnip bridges located between Quesnel and Dawson Creek. For years, industry has stated that the existing height and width constraints hamper their ability to diversify manufacturing as well as supply and freely move large equipment and loads to and from northeast BC and the rest of the province. The Northern Development study focused on the economic business case and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure study provided engineered options and costing.

A few examples of loads that have had to be sourced or trucked through Alberta rather than up or down Highway 97 include compressor station components, combines, manufactured homes, large dozers, drilling tanks, bridge components, and coal and ore trucks used in the mining industry.

The proposed improvements are crucial in order to provide access to resource development opportunities for northern BC companies, including goods and services now imported from Alberta that represent a market estimated at $2 billion annually.

“The removal of constraints that impede the flow of commercial traffic especially oversized loads which are of the utmost importance to the energy and mining industries will increase business opportunities for manufactures and equipment suppliers west of the Rockies,” stated Scott Gordon, Project Manager, Business Development Initiative, Energy Industry Services Association of BC. “Energy Services BC strongly supports these improvements to the Highway 97 corridor between Quesnel and Dawson Creek.”

Better access through the Pine Pass will provide substantial opportunities for several existing industries already located in the Quesnel – Dawson Creek Corridor that can expect to compete for new clients and markets for their goods and services in industry sectors such as metal fabricating, prefabricated buildings, oil and gas field machinery, mining services, and transportation and storage. Northern Development Chair Evan Saugstad, Mayor of Chetwynd, has seen firsthand how low bridge and rail overheads north and south of Chetwynd impact the flow of large loads to the mining and oil and gas sectors. “Our community brought the need for an economic assessment to the other communities across the northern region, who concurred that it was a vital study to assess the leakage of business to Alberta, that could be handled in BC with upgrades to Highway 97 and the Pine Pass.”
& the biggest map seems to be...

http://northerndevelopment.bc.ca/new...s-Improvements
see the whole report here
http://northerndevelopment.bc.ca/upl...une%202009.pdf
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