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B.C. poised to begin major northern paving projects

B.C. poised to begin major northern paving projects
PROVINCE OF B.C. — B.C. has plans to do major paving projects on more than 350 kilometres of roads in the north during 2021.

TERRACE, B.C. — New pavement is on the way for northern B.C. drivers.

The province has announced crews are working on a slew of paving projects in the province’s northern region, covering more than 350 kilometres of highways and side roads.

“Highway resurfacing improves the safety and efficiency of the roadway, provides safer driving conditions for the travelling public and improves the movement of goods and services,” said Rob Fleming, minister of transportation and infrastructure, in a press release. “The expansion and renewal of infrastructure is central to our economic recovery from the pandemic, and it is essential that all British Columbians can count on safe and reliable roads.”

One of the major projects being worked on is asphalt resurfacing for more than 26 kilometres of Highway 16 in the Terrace and Thornhill areas. The $5.8 million project slated to get underway this month and wrap up in September.

“As regional COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift, there will be a gradual increase in the movement of people and goods across B.C.,” said Nathan Cullen, minister of state for lands and natural resource operations, and MLA for Stikine. “Maintaining road infrastructure keeps transportation corridors open, provides critical access for rural and remote communities, and helps families stay connected.”

Paving work on Highway 97 west of Chetwynd from Mount Solitude to Stone Creek is another priority for crews. Work is set to begin in early summer and is expected to be complete by mid-August 2021. In total, 55 kilometres of highway will be resurfaced using hot-in-place resurfacing.

Hot-in-place resurfacing is a made-in-B.C. process that involves repurposing the existing asphalt by heating, softening and blending it with a small amount of new asphalt before reapplying it to the road surface. This method extends the life of the surface, is faster, saves resources and lowers greenhouse gas emissions.

Almost $42 million is being invested in highway resurfacing and nearly $11 million is being spent on side road improvements in the northern region in 2021.

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