Overpass complete at high risk forest road crossing

VANDERHOOF, B.C. — The $5.2 million Bobtail Forest Service Road overpass is finally complete and open for business.

The project was designed to improve traffic safety and support economic diversification.

With an estimated 600,000 to 700,000 cubic metres of wood being hauled along the Bobtail each year, road user groups identified the crossing as a significant safety concern.

“I had two main reasons for supporting this project: first, safety and second, the economy,” said B.C. Forest and Range Minister Pat Bell. “This overpass will dramatically improve the safety of our truck drivers and the travelling public. It also can be a bridge to future developments, in particular, bioenergy opportunities in the region.”

The overpass is on Highway 16 near Bednesti Lake, B.C. about 50 kilometres west of Prince George, B.C. The Bobtail Forest Service road provides an off-highway haul route to Canfor’s Isle Pierre sawmill.

“It’s encouraging to see government paying attention to safety and taking concrete action to ensure safe passage for all users of those roads, industrial and public,” said MaryAnne Arcand, director of the Forestry TruckSafe Program & Northern Initiatives. “It’s also great to see local SAFE Certified contractors doing the work.”

The overpass was designed and built to ensure it would accommodate any future highway improvements such as widening, meet the height clearance needed for an industrial corridor and protect highway users from any dust and debris normally generated from an industrial overpass.

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