No. H124/02For release - November 19, 2002
VICTORIA — Transport Minister David Collenette, together with Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Kevin Falcon, on behalf of British Columbia Transportation Minister Judith Reid, today announced funding of $30.4 million for 11 border crossing transportation initiatives in the B.C. Lower Mainland area as part of the Government of Canada's Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program (SHIP).
The Government of Canada will contribute $14.1 million to the projects, and the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation will contribute $16.3 million. The funding announced today is in addition to the $61.2 million the province will receive for highway construction under the March 5, 2002, SHIP agreement signed with the Government of Canada.
"This federal contribution of more than $14 million will go a long way toward improving the flow of people and goods across our borders, something that is vital to the health of our economy," said Mr. Collenette. "These projects will improve our highways and border infrastructure at the four B.C. Lower Mainland crossings, which benefits residents of the area, as well as visitors and trade."
"These improvements to our border infrastructure will ease the free flow of goods, increase economic benefits in a range of sectors, and improve security at border crossings," said Ms. Reid. "British Columbia relies on efficient, safe and secure cross-border access. The total commodity value of goods transported between this province and the United States by road exceeds $23.9 billion annually."
The federal funding for the 11 projects, to be implemented in fiscal years 2002-03 to 2005-06, is drawn from the $65 million portion of SHIP allocated specifically to Border Crossing Transportation Initiatives across Canada.
Other funding partners, mainly the City of Surrey and the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority, will also contribute approximately $1 million to this initiative, bringing the total funding to more than $32 million.
Federal funding for this project was provided for in the December 2001 federal budget and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.
Backgrounders with project details and further information on SHIP are attached.
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Anthony PolciDirector of CommunicationsOffice of the Minister,Ottawa (613) 991-0700
Shawn RobinsDirector of CommunicationsBritish Columbia Transportation(250) 387-7787
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BACKGROUNDERSTRATEGIC HIGHWAY INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS - BRITISH COLUMBIA
The following projects will receive joint funding under the Canada/British Columbia SHIP agreement:
$7.2 million to expand 8th Avenue from two to four lanes. This road serves as the access/exit road to the Pacific Highway, B.C./Blaine, Washington border crossing for all commercial vehicles from Highway 99.
$8.6 million to improve the interchange at 8th Avenue/Highway 99. This interchange attracts high volumes of commercial traffic due to its proximity to the Pacific Highway, B.C./Blaine, Washington border crossing.
$1 million to improve the 8th Avenue/Highway 15 intersection. This intersection also attracts high volumes of commercial traffic due to its proximity to the Pacific Highway, B.C./Blaine, Washington border crossing.
$1.8 million for construction of an Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)/Commercial Vehicle Operations (CVO)/Free and Secure Trade Program (FAST) truck lane on Highway 15. This project will provide ITS equipped commercial vehicles with a dedicated southbound lane on Highway 15 at the Pacific Highway, B.C./Blaine, Washington crossing.
$500,000 for Highway 15 ITS/CVO system enhancements. This project consists of database software development and communications work to enable data sharing between the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia on vehicles, drivers and loads. This project will increase the volume of pre-processed cross-border commercial vehicles from Canada to the U.S., and vice versa, thereby reducing traffic congestion.
$4.2 million for Highway 15/88th Avenue intersection improvements. To address traffic congestion at this intersection, a second through traffic lane, as well as left-turn bays, will be added to all approaches. The project will also involve widening shoulders and increasing corner radii on all approaches, and elevating the road surface to control flooding.
$300,000 for construction of a dedicated southbound commuter lane on Highway 15 (Pacific Highway crossing), to be used by NEXUS-registered drivers. This program allows participants to move quickly across borders using dedicated lanes, although they are subject to random checks, once they have passed a rigorous security screening process.
$700,000 for Highway 99 (Peace Arch crossing) NEXUS lane extension. Highway 99 southbound has a dedicated commuter lane for a bi-national, low-risk program for travellers who frequently cross the border. The project consists of extending the existing lane by approximately 700 metres.
$1.6 million for conducting a corridor management plan, and construction of a truck climbing lane on Highway 13 (Aldergrove, B.C./Lyndon, Washington crossing). The truck climbing lane will alleviate northbound traffic congestion on the highway, which exists largely due to a steep incline on the Canadian side of the border crossing.
$2 million for construction of a commercial vehicle staging area on Highway 11. Currently, U.S. bound commercial drivers who have not completed their customs brokerage documents must stop on the Canadian side of the Huntingdon, B.C./Sumas, Washington border crossing before proceeding to U.S. Customs. As a result, access to the border crossing is frequently blocked. The staging area would reduce or eliminate blockages to the crossing.
$1.6 million for an Advanced Traveller Information System at the Peace Arch and Pacific Highway border crossing in Surrey, B.C. This project will provide travellers and commercial carriers with delay information prior to their departure or en route to assist them in making travel time estimates and decisions on departure time, route choice, and mode choice.
BACKGROUNDERSTRATEGIC HIGHWAY INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM - BRITISH COLUMBIA
In the February 2000 Budget Speech, the Government of Canada committed to improve the economy and the quality of life for Canadians by investing up to $600 million over five years in highway infrastructure across Canada. In April 2001, Transport Minister David Collenette announced the Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program (SHIP). The program has two components: a $500 million highway construction component and a $100 million national system integration component, of which $65 million is dedicated to Border Crossing Transportation Initiatives. The program formally begins in fiscal year 2002-2003.
Under the highway construction component of SHIP, $500 million will be available to address the needs of Canada's highways until March 2006. The Government of Canada is working with the provinces and territories to identify those parts of the national highway system that - because of growing traffic and increasing trade - need immediate attention. This will result in a safer and more efficient highway system for all Canadians.
SHIP will also provide $100 million nationally to fund initiatives which better integrate the transportation system. These include the deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems across Canada, improvements to border crossings and better transportation planning. Intelligent Transportation Systems include applications such as advanced systems for traveller information, traffic management, public transport, commercial vehicle operations, emergency response management and vehicle safety. The border crossing improvements announced today will add $14.1 million to B.C.'s total funding to be received under SHIP.
Environmental assessments that meet the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act will be undertaken before the projects begin. Funding for the projects is conditional on the results of these assessments.
Federal funding for the 11 projects announced today is being drawn from the $65 million portion of SHIP that is allocated to Border Crossing Transportation Initiatives.