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Government announces $8.1-million safety upgrade for section of Trans-Canada

DUNCAN, B.C. -- The federal and provincial governments are funding an $8.1-million highway safety upgrade on a sect...

DUNCAN, B.C. — The federal and provincial governments are funding an $8.1-million highway safety upgrade on a section of the Trans-Canada Highway, Minister of Industry and co-Senior Minister responsible for British Columbia, David L. Emerson, on behalf of federal Minister of Transport Jean-C. Lapierre, and B.C. Minister of Transportation Kevin Falcon have announced.

“This upgrade for the Trans-Canada in our province will mean a safer road for all users,” Emerson said. “The Trans-Canada is a main thoroughfare for goods, tourists and residents, and therefore it is important to constantly upgrade this main route.”

“(This) announcement is another example of what happens when governments work together in partnership to better Canada’s transportation system,” Lapierre said. “The funding for this infrastructure project will provide economic and safety benefits to this region.”

The Dougan Lake area upgrade is a Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program (SHIP) project, one of several co-operative partnerships between Transport Canada and the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation. The Government of Canada is contributing $2.6 million. To date, Canada has invested more than $660 million into improvements in British Columbia since 2003 under several contribution programs.

The upgrade to the 3.3-km section of Highway 1 between Cobble Hill and Duncan will improve the last remaining high-speed section of undivided four-lane roadway on the highway from Victoria to Nanaimo. This section of the highway has a higher collision rate than the provincial average for this type of road. The improvements are expected to reduce the number of crashes on this section of highway and provide a separation between local and highway traffic.

“A better transportation infrastructure keeps drivers safer and is building new economic possibilities for communities across the province,” Falcon said. “These safety improvements benefit everyone, from local residents to highway travellers and anglers headed for the fishing on Dougan Lake.”

The project will include the installation of median barrier, shoulder widening, construction of frontage roads to improve safe highway access, and surface repaving. Construction will begin in November and is due to be finished by March 2007.

“We are happy to be working with the federal and provincial governments on improvements to the Trans-Canada Highway through the Est-Patrolas Indian Reserve,” said Chief Harvey Alphonse of the Cowichan Tribes. “The Dougan Lake project will keep our community safer and provide much-needed business and employment opportunities for Cowichan Tribes and Khowutzun Mustimuhw Contractors.”

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