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Improvements to Hwy 1 and Stanley Park Causeway in new transportation plan

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The province will spend about $2.5-billion dollars repairing and expanding roadways around BC as part of its 10-year transportation plan. Details on how it will be spent are expected to be released over the next few months.

They’re calling it “BC on the Move.” The plan was put together using a public survey. Almost 13-thousand people responded. The top priority for respondents was rehabilitating existing highways, bridges and side roads.

Improving highway capacity was also a top choice. That’s why the BC government is widening Highway 1 between Langley and Abbotsford. It’s been a punishing bottleneck in Langley since the Port Mann project began nearing completion. The highway will grow from four lanes to six.

New infrastructure for cycling is also getting some funding. The BC government is putting $7-million dollars up to make safety improvements to the Stanley Park Causeway. They’ll be widening sidewalks and putting up fencing to stop people from falling into traffic. Transportation Minister Todd Stone says this is part of $18-million for cycling province-wide. “Right now the sidewalks are too narrow for the number of users. There is no fence between the path and the roadway and conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians are becoming unfortunately more and more frequent. He says the improvements will not extend over the Lions Gate Bridge.

Other points in the 10-year plan include a provincial trucking strategy, highway safety programs, community airport improvements and rail and port upgrades to support an LNG industry. The transportation minister says funding will also be there to go ahead with replacing the George Massey Tunnel as well as projects outlined in the Mayors Council’s plan Metro Vancouver is voting on during this transportation plebiscite.

Details on additional projects being funded aren’t being revealed now. Minister Stone says specifics will follow later. “There’s going to be a wide range of announcements over the next couple days. That will actually carry us over the next couple of months. Some of those will involve projects that incorporate federal funding on a costs-shared basis.”

Any news about a regional road pricing or tolling strategy hasn’t been included.