The provincial government expects to select the company to build a $37 million overpass on Highway 16 between Terrace and Prince Rupert by early next year.
Information released this week by the province indicates the project should go to bid by the end of this year.
Officially called the Hwy 16 CNR Mile 28 Grade Separation Project, the overpass means vehicle traffic won’t be held up any longer because of train traffic on the CN line which crosses the highway as it winds its way alongside the Skeena River.
Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone was in Prince Rupert and Terrace on Tuesday, Oct. 25 for several announcements.
“Putting this construction contract out to tender is a big step towards getting shovels in the ground next spring,” Stone said. “I’m looking forward to seeing this important infrastructure project get under way, as it will significantly improve efficiency and safety for residents, tourists, and industrial traffic along this highway corridor that accesses many communities along with the Port of Prince Rupert.”
The level crossing is the last of its kind on Highway 16 between Prince Rupert and the Alberta border and replacing those crossings has been a key priority.
Just over half of the cost, $19.475 million, is coming from the province with the federal government chipping in the remaining $17.5 million. No contributions are coming from CN.
The level crossing is such that vehicle traffic has to negotiate an ‘S’ curve, slowing down from 100km/h to 40 km/h an hour. Construction is expected to start next spring and take approximately two years.
Speaking in Terrace on Tuesday, Stone also announced the construction of a passing lane on Highway 16 leading up to the Rainbow Summit which is approximately 30km east of Prince Rupert.
“Another one of our provincial priorities is to provide better access into communities, and upgrading the junction of highway 16 and 37 will ease congestion and improve traffic flow through Terrace,” Stone said.
It’s one of five the province is building with the financial assistance of the federal government between the coast and Prince George along Highway 16 at a total cost of $37.7 million.
Stone was speaking at the weigh scales at the 16/37 four-way stop on the boundary of Terrace and Thornhill, a location which also figured in his remarks made here.
He said the province will conduct a series of public meetings next spring as part of a plan to come up with a construction project design to improve the efficiency and safety of the intersection.
Stone predicted any eventual project at the four-way stop would cost in the neighbourhood of $5 million.