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highway upgrade

The Sea to Sky Corridor and the North Shore have been allocated $6 million of the province’s $490 million highway capital plan this year, but there will be no major work on Highway 99. The projects scheduled for the area focus on seismic upgrading, resurfacing, bridge construction and repair, and safety improvements. In Squamish the improvements will include repaving Highway 99 from Mamquam Bridge to Cheekeye Bridge and from Britannia to Murrin Park. Between Pemberton and Mount Currie repaving work will be completed and barriers will be installed to improve safety. A new bridge will be constructed on the Birkenhead Causeway, nine kilometres east of Pemberton. However, improvements to Highway 99 between Culliton Creek and the Cheakamus Canyon are not scheduled to commence this year. The Ministry of Highways did survey work to that section of the highway last year in preparation for a significant road realignment. Highways spokesman John Doyle said last week, "The province realizes there is a problem there. We’re coming up with the steps to solve the problem and we hope we can implement them in the future." The province’s 1999-2000 highway capital plan allocates $77 million of the $490 million total for major highways outside the Lower Mainland. A release from Transportation and Highways Minister Harry Lali says the $6 million was earmarked for the North Shore and Sea to Sky Corridor "because of the economic importance of the Sea to Sky Corridor to tourism." "Improving our highways creates jobs and encourages continued economic growth, particularly given the increased opportunity for tourism in this region," said Lali.