VICTORIA, B.C. — B.C. Transportation Minister, Judith Reid, has released a report examining the state of the province’s highways and how to improve them.
The report, entitled Challenges and Choices, concludes the province will need to double its planned $10 billion in spending over the next 10 years in order to keep up with the needs of the province’s highway system.
Unfortunately, the report didn’t uncover any new ways of raising that $10 billion. Ministry of Transportation spokesman, Shawn Robins, says the province must find new ways to fund highway projects.
"The Fraser Canyon Highway is a good example of a priority," says Robins. "In the 60s it was a great highway and now we recognize the need to fix it but the question remains, how do we find the resources to do the job?"
Ideas being considered range from increasing fuel taxes, increasing tolls on existing highways and bridges or calling on civil servants to accept pay decreases. While tolls have been talked about for some time, Robins says the ministry is reluctant to go that route.
"Tolling has to be tied to benefits, and those benefits have to outweigh the cost," he tells local media.
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