Transportation minister Lekstrom: Trans-Canada near Revelstoke a 'top priority'
The City of Revelstoke's stepped-up lobby efforts for improvements to the Trans-Canada Highway between Kamloops and the Alberta Border has received attention from the provincial transportation minister.
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Blair Lekstrom has penned a letter to Mayor of Revelstoke David Raven. In the letter dated June 1, Lekstrom references a telephone conversation with the mayor and says improving the beleaguered stretch of highway remains a "top priority" for the transportation ministry. "[We] continue to focus on improving sections of highway with poor safety performance, high traffic volumes and/or bridges requiring replacement," Lekstrom writes.
The letter was included in the agenda package for council's June 14 meeting and may be discussed then.
For the record, here is a verbatim transcript of the June 1, 2011, letter:
Mayor David Raven
City of Revelstoke
PO Box 170
Revelstoke BC V0E 2S0
Dear Mayor Raven:
Re: Trans-Canada Highway
Thank you for our recent telephone conversation concerning progress along the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) between Kamloops and the Alberta Border.
I appreciated the opportunity to speak with you and former Revelstoke mayor, Mark McKee, regarding the status of improvements on the TCH east of Kamloops. The TCH is a vital transportation link for both goods and tourism, and we are committed to improving the safety and efficiency of this key corridor. Since 2001, our government has delivered $485 million in improvements between Kamloops and the Alberta border, with another $200 million committed to work currently underway. The federal government has contributed approximately $245 million towards these improvements, and the ministry continues to discuss the need for cost-sharing to support additional work along this corridor.
The TCH between Kamloops and the Alberta border remains a top priority for the ministry, and we continue to focus on improving sections of highway with poor safety performance, high traffic volumes and/or bridges requiring replacement. The ministry is committed to working with key stakeholders to ensure these improvements meet the needs of all road users travelling along this corridor. To that end, I understand you will be meeting with the ministry's local Operations Manager, Art McClean, on Thursday, June 2, to expand on the ministry's upcoming plans for the TCH. Dave Duncan, Assistant Deputy Minister for the Highways Department, will also be in touch shortly to identify and discuss priorities for moving forward and building on those improvements already underway along the TCH east of Kamloops.
In the meantime, should you have any further questions or concerns about this matter, please don't hesitate to contact Mr. McClean directly. He is available by telephone at 250-344-3831 or by e-mail at Arthur.McClean@gov.bc.ca and would be pleased to assist you.
Thank you again for the chance to discuss how we can work together to ensure the safety and efficiency of the TCH.
Dave Duncan, Assistant Deputy Minister
Norm Parkes, Regional Director
Southern Interior Region
Art McClean, Operations Manager
Rocky Mountain District