January 23, 2015 - 2:19 PM
KAMLOOPS - Though the first phase of the Pritchard to Hoffman’s Bluff highway widening project is set to wind up this June, another 3.1 kilometres of the highway is set to be widened over a 16-month period immediately afterwards.
The $23.4 million contract was recently awarded for the second and final phase of the project and work is expected to begin in this spring, with completion expected by fall 2016.
The Ministry of Transportation says the phase will be one of the most challenging sections to increase to four lanes from two. It will complete the 16 km stretch between Kamloops and Chase and comes in at a total cost of about $61.6 million.
Extensive consultation has taken place with local First Nations and the project includes an agreement for construction through the Neskonlith Indian Band’s reserve near Hoffman’s Bluff.
"Safety has been an ongoing concern for the Trans-Canada Highway. The four-laning directly involves our communities in various studies, contractual work and most importantly in the protection of our cultural sites and ancestral burial landform,” Band Chief Judy Wilson said. “The entire corridor is recognized as origins of our Secwepemc People, which date back 6,000 to 8,000 years ago. Continued protection and management of the existing sites and the new finds is critical. Direct involvement in planning, design and construction along with recognition of our title (and) rights and people is key."
The project is just a small part of the plan to expand all of Highway 1 between Kamloops and the Alberta border to four lanes.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015