Two contracts valued at $5.2 million have been awarded to upgrade the road surface and replace a single-lane bridge on Highway 99 near Lillooet.
In its June 7 announcement, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says the work will improve safety and travel for area residents and visitors to the region.
A new two-lane, single-span, 35-metre long bridge will be constructed on Highway 99 at Long Cayoosh Creek, the fifth bridge out from Lillooet on the Duffey Lake Road. This will replace the existing single-lane wood structure. An improved alignment with straighter approaches and a wider bridge deck will improve safety at this location.
The contract for the work, valued at $2.4 million, has been awarded to West Bridge Corporation from North Vancouver. Material has already been stockpiled at the bridge and work is scheduled to begin this month and be complete by the end of October.
A $2.8-million contract has been awarded to Interoute Construction Ltd. of Crescent Valley to resurface a section of Highway 99, from Long Cayoosh Creek Bridge north for more than nine kilometres. As part of the contract, portions of Road 40 through Lillooet and Texas Creek Road will also be resurfaced, resulting in 6.5 kilometres of resurfaced local roads. Work is scheduled to begin in August and be completed by the end of September.
Mayor Dennis Bontron called the announcement “fantastic” for Lillooet.
“It was a long time ago that Kevin Falcon, when he was Minister of Highways, came and made an announcement that we were going to have highway improvements,” he recalled. “I know that Christ’l (former mayor Christ’l Roshard) worked very hard on that and on every occasion when we visited Victoria, we’ve raised the issue of paving and the bridges and the Duffey Lake Road and the slides.”
The mayor added, “Kevin Falcon said at the time, ‘I can’t promise you we’ll do it all at once but we will pursue completing it and we’ll do a little bit as we can until we’re done.’ This is just a part of that and of the commitment they’ve made. They’re honouring their commitment and I’m totally delighted.”
Including the Long Cayoosh bridge replacement project, over $11 million has been invested since 2009 to replace aging single-lane bridges on Highway 99 with new two-lane structures. Bridges completed to date include Cayoosh Creek No. 4 Bridge, Boulder Creek Bridge and Gott Creek Bridge.
"Highway 99 is a vital connection for the residents of Lillooet area, and is also a popular route for tourists traveling to and from Whistler and the coast,” Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Blair Lekstrom stated in the province’s announcement. “Our government continues to invest in highway improvements in the Lillooet area to ensure the corridor remains safe for all who use it."