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2010 was busiest year yet for road construction

Province of B.C. touts the year as the busiest road and highway construction year ever



The Province of B.C. is boasting 2010 was the busiest road and highway construction year ever, with even more projects than in the run-up to the Olympic Games.

According to the Ministry of Transportant and Infrastructure, over $2 billion was spent on 400 projects around the province.

"This was by far our busiest construction year," said Infrastructure Minister Shirley Bond. "Early in the year our transit system was tested with record numbers of riders during the Olympics, and while managing a record construction season we also had to deal with the impacts of flood and fires. As the year ends, I want to thank the many people whose exceptional efforts are helping to create a world-class transportation system in B.C."

The highlights include the replacement or refurbishment of 60 bridges and the resurfacing of 1,500 lane-km of highway.

Since 2001, the province has spent more than $16 billion on transportation and infrastructure.

The majority of money spent this year, some $1.15 billion, was in the South Coast area. That includes the cost of the Olympic transportation strategy, which included 24-hour service in Whistler, as well as the province's share of the cost of the 20-bus fleet of hydrogen buses currently being tested by Whistler and Valley Express, and the new bus depot at Nesters.

Another project to benefit Whistler was the replacement of the Highway 1A/99 Old Capilano Bridge carrying cars from the Lions Gate Bridge to the Highway 1. As well, 22 km of new barriers were installed along Highway 99 to improve safety.

The Canada Line, which opened in 2009, also benefited from some funding and provides easier access to Vancouver International Airport.

It wasn't listed by the province for 2010, but money was also spent this fall to resurface Highway 99 between Function Junction and Whistler Village. The highway had been rewidened and regarded the previous year for the Games to allow for three lanes from Function Junction to Lorimer, then converted back to two lanes after the Games.



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