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NEWS RELEASE
COMMUNIQU
É

 

 

For Immediate Release
2009TRAN0009-000249
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.

 

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Contact:

Chris Day

Press Secretary

Office of Canada’s Transport and Infrastructure Minister

613 991-0700

Dave Crebo

Communications Director

250 387-7787

 

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