FORT NELSON, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 16, 2012) - Bob Zimmer, Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, today announced the awarding of a $4.9M construction contract for the rehabilitation of kilometres 443 to 451 of the Alaska Highway in the Fort Nelson Area. This contract award is in addition to the $3.3M construction contract for a paving project at kilometres 250 to 258 of the Alaska Highway.
"The top priority of our Government remains the economy, and maintaining local public infrastructure is important to all of us as it contributes to a stronger economy and safer communities," said Minister Ambrose. "Through our investments in public infrastructure, we are not only creating jobs across the country but also ensuring safe, reliable access to our infrastructure for the public."
As part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada recently announced investments of approximately $250 million, over the next five years, in Public Works and Government Services Canada-owned infrastructure projects across the country, for a total of $320 million in funding for these assets.
"Our Government is committed to maintaining the safety of its public infrastructure. These infrastructure investments are part of an ongoing program to ensure that the highway is well-maintained and safe for travellers," said Minister James Moore, Regional Minister for British Columbia.
"Our Government is focused on what matters to Canadians-jobs and economic growth. Our investment in the Alaska Highway will not only generate long-term economic benefits for the entire region, but continue to provide safe access to the thousands of Canadians who rely on the Alaska Highway," said MP Zimmer.
Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is responsible for maintaining an 835-kilometre section of the Alaska Highway. In 2012-13, PWGSC is undertaking a capital improvement project to ensure that the highway continues to provide safe and reliable service to Canadians. The projected work involves paving and intersection improvements on an eight-kilometre stretch, between kilometres 443 and 451, in the Fort Nelson area. Furthermore, due to increased truck traffic, PWGSC will also be undertaking paving work from kilometres 250 to 258 in order to convert the existing road surface to asphalt, which will make the road safer and stronger for heavier traffic. These projects are expected to be completed by fall 2012. PWGSC is committed to a fair, open and transparent tendering process and these contracts were awarded through a competitive process advertised on the Government Electronic Tendering System (MERX).
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ALASKA HIGHWAY-MAJOR CAPITAL PROJECTS 2012-2013
The Alaska Highway stretches 2,450 kilometres across northern British Columbia (B.C.) and southern Yukon into Alaska. It was originally constructed in 1943 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure land access to Alaska from the lower 48 states during World War II. About 80 per cent (1,900 kilometres) of the highway is actually in Canada, with the starting point ("Mile Zero," or kilometre 0) in Dawson Creek, B.C.
Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is responsible for maintaining an 835-kilometre section from kilometre 133, north of Fort St. John, B.C., to kilometre 968, at the B.C./Yukon border. B.C. is responsible for the first section (kilometres 0 to 133) and Yukon is responsible for the rest of the Canadian portion.
An ongoing program of capital repairs, improvements and maintenance ensures that service is provided to travellers. The road surface and highway bridges are inspected annually. Typically, PWGSC spends about $35 million a year on maintenance and capital projects. In 2012-2013, two major projects are occurring on the Alaska Highway: a new pavement overlay and intersection improvements (two new left-hand turning lanes and consolidation of access points) between kilometres 443 and 451 in the Fort Nelson area are planned, as well as a conversion of the existing road surface to asphalt between kilometres 250 and 258.