B.C.’s SYD resource road to be upgraded

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VICTORIA, B.C. — Oil and gas exploration in B.C.’s northeast may be expanded thanks to a public-private partnership that will see the Sierra Yoyo Desan (SYD) Resource Road enhanced.

Ledcor Projects signed a $40 million deal to design, finance and deliver upgrades to the resource road. It will also operate and maintain the road for 16 years, the province has announced.

"Upgrading and strengthening the SYD Resource Road will improve safety, allow for year-round access, and generate an increase in oil and gas exploration and development activities in the northeast that will create vast opportunities for British Columbians," said Minister of Energy and Mines, Richard Neufeld. "This project is a good example of an innovative public-private partnership that will create employment and economic opportunities for B.C."

Industrial road users will be involved in administering the fees collected from industry within the area and those fees will provide funding to ensure Ledcor is reimbursed for its construction, improvement and upgrade costs as well as maintenance.

"The SYD road partnership has all the elements of a valuable public-private partnership by benefiting the community and providing a solution to resource companies in the northeast to facilitate expansion and create jobs." said Finance Minister Gary Collins.

The SYD is a 173-km resource road providing access to more than 27,000 sq. km. of oil and gas territory in northeastern B.C. A new bridge will be built over the Fort Nelson River as a result of the deal enabling two-way traffic to flow between Fort Nelson and other regions. It is expected to be completed by Dec. 1, 2004 with the remainder of the project expected to wrap up by Dec. 1, 2005.

"Our goal is to work with industry to develop and implement partnerships that will stimulate oil and gas exploration and development," Neufeld said. "This partnership helps fulfill government’s commitment to facilitate growth, creating prosperity for all British Columbians."

Ledcor Senior Vice President Scott Lyons said "With our construction expertise, we can deliver this road faster, creating a safer and higher quality road for the industrial road users without additional costs. The design, construction and maintenance risks that we have taken on are very familiar to us, and we can manage them effectively."

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