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Coquihalla becomes toll-free highway

PENTICTON, B.C. -- B.C. has lifted tolls on the Coquihalla Hwy., a move that will save some truckers thousands of d...


PENTICTON, B.C. — B.C. has lifted tolls on the Coquihalla Hwy., a move that will save some truckers thousands of dollars per year, the province has announced.

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell made the announcement last week, claiming the tolls collected by highway users have now fully funded the highway’s construction.

“The Coquihalla Highway opened British Columbia’s Interior like never before, generating economic opportunities and fostering the tremendous growth of communities,” Campbell said during an address to the Union of B.C. Municipalities last week. “Former Premier Bill Bennett had a vision for a highway that would see our province reach its full economic potential. It has succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations and has become the foundation for a transportation network that has opened up Canada’s Pacific Gateway to North America and the rest of the world. Today’s announcement marks the next milestone in that legacy.”

The toll road was opened in 1986 and expanded through to 1990. About 20% of vehicles using the toll route are commercial trucks, according to the province. It cost about $848 million to construct the highway and tolls generated about $57 million per year.

“Removing the tolls will mean literally hundreds of dollars annually in the pockets of British Columbians who regularly use the highway,” said Campbell. “It will also mean thousands of dollars in annual saving for truckers who account for 20% of highway traffic along the corridor but pay more than half of the total toll revenue.”

Last year, there were more than 700,000 commercial truck trips over the Coquihalla.


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