MALAKWA — The national and provincial governments have announced they will spend $35 million to build a new four-lane Malakwa Bridge on the Trans-Canada Highway to replace the existing two-lane bridge.
In a joint statement the two governments said they will also widen 2.7 kilometres of the highway from two to four lanes divided by center median barriers. The highway will also have 2.5-metre-wide paved shoulders and rumble strips to improve safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians.
The new crossing will better handle the increased traffic volume and larger truck loads on this important highway.
“The replacement of the Malakwa Bridge will make travel safer and more efficient for motorists along the Trans-Canada highway,” Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes said in the statement. “Our government is proud to provide significant funding for this project as we focus on creating jobs, promoting growth and building strong, prosperous communities across Canada.”
The modern four-lane bridge will accommodate wider and higher trucks, improving safety and supporting Canada’s Pacific Gateway, which supports the safe and efficient movement of goods across key trade corridors. With between 6,000 and 11,000 vehicles crossing the existing 60-year-old structure each day, the project will make this major economic corridor safer and more efficient.
“Replacement of the old, narrow bridge will eliminate this pinch point for traffic and provide increased clearances for commercial vehicles,” Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo said in the statement. “The upgrade to four lanes will also provide all motorists with safer opportunities to pass on this stretch of Highway 1.”
Tybo Contracting Ltd. of Langley B.C. is the successful bidder with a tender of $16.4-million for the construction of the new bridge and four-laning project. Construction is scheduled to begin in August and is anticipated to be complete in the summer of 2016.
In addition, the community of Malakwa will benefit from 1.8 kilometres of new local roads that will access the highway at two new protected “T” intersections, which provide drivers with a protected lane to wait in to safely turn both on and off the highway. The Hickson Road intersection will be upgraded with a new protected “T” concept, and accesses off of Ackerman and Delaney Roads will be consolidated at a new protected “T” intersection near the Shuswap Speedway.