Construction of northwestern B.C. overpass to start in 2017

The cost of the overpass on Hwy16 between Terrace and Prince Rupert estimated at $37 million

  • Aug. 2, 2015 9:00 a.m.

CONSTRUCTION OF a $37 million highway overpass spanning CN’s rail tracks 50km west of Terrace on Hwy16 may have been announced July 27, but the actual work won’t start for nearly 18 months.

The design of the project, which involves two new kilometres of Hwy16 in addition to the overpass itself, so the work can go to tender won’t be completed until late next year, indicates information provided by the ministry.

Construction itself is scheduled to start in early 2017 and be completed the end of 2018, indicates the information.

When finished, the overpass will eliminate a twisty ‘S’ curve of Hwy16 as it crosses the tracks beside the Skeena River.

The level crossing, now marked by warning signs and reduced speed limits, is the last of its kind along Hwy16 in the province, said provincial transportation minister Todd Stone.

“There’s a number of curves involved. People have to slow down from 100 km per hour to 40 km per hour,” said Stone.

The province, which will be the lead agency on this project, will pay $19.5 million of the cost with the federal government adding $17.5 million.

CN isn’t expected to make any kind of financial contribution toward the project but if it requests changes, it will then contribute toward that cost, said the transportation ministry in a statement.

The ministry also said it was too early to say if CN’s tracks will have to be moved or exactly where the overpass and new road will be located.

“It is a priority to avoid riparian zones if possible,” the ministry said of the closeness of the location to the Skeena River.

“If encroachment is unavoidable, the ministry will mitigate impacts as much as possible and work with regulatory agencies to ensure all appropriate measures are taken.”

Stone and federal Conservative Prince George-Peace River Bob Zimmer were at the Northwest Regional Airport July 27 to make this and other construction announcements for the region, part of a flurry leading up to the start of the federal election campaign.

Stone said the overpass will make the flow of goods to and from port facilities at Prince Rupert more efficient and safer.

Geotechnical drilling and other work at the location took place this spring to determine the state of the sub-strata in advance of detailed design and construction plans.

It’s been more than a decade since the last road overpass over CN’s tracks was built in the region and it’s located on the road leading to the Hudson Bay Mountain ski development just outside of Smithers.

Terrace council and other local bodies had been lobbying for years for a second overpass connecting the southside with the rest of the city.

They’ve cited crowded traffic conditions on the existing Sande Overpass as a chokepoint affecting the flow of local and of highway traffic.

(With files from Kevin Campbell, the Northern View, Prince Rupert, B.C.)

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Kid-friendly ski day at Shames

There were 175 children who skied and took lessons for free at the Port of Prince Rupert event

NARA holds open adoption event

Six cats and two dogs were rehomed

‘Avalanche Awareness Days’ emphasize backcountry safety at Shames

The Skeena Bar and Shames Mountain Co-op both holding events this weekend

Wilson returns to Pacific Crest Trail undeterred

Terrace hiker was forced to abandon journey last year due to back injury at 566-mile marker

More exported goods needed for Terrace transloading facility “financially viable,” according to report

Build-out of SIDP lands, potential for micro-LNG facilities could warrant future development

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

Most Read