By David F. Rooney
Federal and provincial representatives joined with Mayor Mark McKee at Revelstoke City Hall to announce a $35 million expansion, upgrading and twinning project along the Trans-Canada Highway.
The Illecillewaet project has four components. The main portion of the project involves expanding the Illecillewaet brake-check station to accommodate up to 15 trucks (from the current six). The project will also include the construction of acceleration and deceleration lanes for the station. In addition, a 2.5‑kilometre section of the TCH will be widened from two lanes to four, and a turn-around will be constructed to enable vehicles to choose an alternate route.
The federal portion of this is $15.5 million under the New Building Canada Fund’s Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component. British Columbia will be contributing the remaining $19.5 million to the project.
“We are pleased to work with the province of British Columbia to approve projects under the New Building Canada Fund, to ensure that infrastructure funding continues to flow in British Columbia as we focus on creating jobs, promoting growth, and building strong, prosperous communities across Canada,” MP David Wilks said on behalf of the federal Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel. “We are proud to invest in this transportation project. It will increase commuter safety and improve the flow of traffic to and from Revelstoke along Highway 1.”
The provincial government rep to this event was Greg Kyllo, BC Liberal MLA for Shuswap.
“We are pleased to be working with our federal partners to deliver on the commitment to increase the number of four-lane sections on Highway 1 as well as making safety improvements to a local brake-check area,” he said as stand-in for BC Highways Minister Todd Stone. “These improvements will ensure truck traffic flows efficiently as possible along this route and increased capacity of Highway 1 will ensure the continued movement of people and goods along this important corridor.”
McKee, Wilks and Kyllo were joined at the podium by Chief Judy Wilson of the Neskonlith Band, located near Chase. As she explained, the members of the Neskonlith, Adams River, Little Shuswap and Shuswap Bands insist on being part of the twinning project because native burial and other cultural sites are believed to exist on both sides of the TCH corridor.
McKee, who has for decades been one of Revelstoke’s most vocal and forceful proponents for TCH renewal thanked everyone for making this new project possible:
“I’d like to Chief Judy for being here today and I’d like to thank our MP David Wilks for his hard work in getting this announcement today. I know that David Wilks in his former life as an RCMP (officer) knows first-hand what it is like on the Trans-Canada and the issues that are there. As well, (I’d like to thank) our MLA Greg Kyllo who lives to the west of us at Salmon Arm. He knows full well the importance of upgrades to the Trans-Canada Highway.”
Please activate the YouTube player below if you would like to watch the 13-minute event in its entirety. David Wilks speaks at the 32-second mark, Greg Kyllo takes the podium at the 4:18 minute point and Chief Judy Wilson at the 8:40-minute mark.