Salmon Arm  

Upgrades ahead of tourists

Work has been completed on a heavily-used section of the Trans-Canada Highway through Malakwa, just ahead of the big tourist rush into B.C.'s Southern Interior.

The province has announced the $35 million construction project to replace the Malakwa Bridge and four-laning of that section of the highway has finished ahead of schedule.

The route is B.C.’s main gateway to the rest of Canada, and is vital to sustaining travel, tourism and trade.

Located approximately 20 kilometres east of Sicamous, the project included widening 2.7 kilometres of Highway 1 from two to four lanes with centre median barriers, 2.5-metre-wide paved shoulders, and rumble strips for safety.

A modern four-lane bridge has replaced the old 1950s-era bridge allowing for the passage of wider and higher trucks.

Average daily traffic volumes through that route are about 6,000 vehicles per day. The number spikes in the summer to nearly 11,000 vehicles per day.

“With our federal partner, we have improved the safety and reliability of one of our most important commercial trade routes, and with local First Nations, we were able to create additional fish habitat in the Eagle River,” said Transportation Minister Todd Stone. “This upgrade to the Trans-Canada Highway at Malakwa is part of B.C.’s 10-year, $650-million commitment through to 2022 to continue four-lane improvements to the Trans-Canada between Kamloops and the Alberta border.”

“Through the Malakwa Bridge and four-laning project, local residents now have safer access on and off the highway, and our summer visitors also have a safer, more reliable route as they travel between communities and enjoy the many recreational opportunities in the area,” said Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo.

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