Friday, March 8, 2013

Paving crews on the horizon

Working on the highway, laying down the blacktop 
Working on the highway, all day long I don't stop
Working on the highway, blasting through the bedrock
Working on the highway, working on the highway
Bruce Springsteen, Working on the Highway

The lyrics of the boss are music to the ears of North Coast residents with word that some highway improvements are the horizon.

The first real sign of spring has arrived for the North Coast, the announcement from the BC Transportation  and Infrastructure Ministry that spring paving projects are coming our way.

The Ministry revealed the scope of its plans yesterday, with some 13 million dollars in black top and assorted infrastructure on the way for the NorthWest, 4.8 million of it for Highway 16 from McClymont Park to the Tyee Overhead.

Peter's Brothers Construction of Penticton was awarded the North Coast portion of the road work, with work schedule to start  in July, with a completion date of late September.

The remainder of the 13 million dollars announced, will be divided up among projects in Stewart and the Terrace region.

While the eastbound paving project will be welcome thing for those travellers making the trips eastward  for vacation and shopping in the Terrace region, of more interest perhaps for locals in Prince Rupert is the status of the stretch of Highway 16 from the Civic Centre to Fairview, with a particular note of some of the rough patches along the way.

One such stretch, as any traveller along McBride can testify to of late, is the intersection at 3rd Avenue and McBride. A part of the road which is beginning to take on the nature of an off road course, with potholes and rough stretches testing the limits of suspensions and front alignments.

Good for local auto shops with wheel alignment machines, not so good for the purses and wallets of local motorists.

The topic of road paving and responsibility for it, was a discussion point of a recent council session. Though no word seemingly has been delivered to the city as to whether any paving projects are on the agenda for the more urban stretch of the highway through the city.

With more truck traffic coursing through the city to and from the Container port these days, main artery of the city is certainly feeling the impact of the increased nature of the loads on the road.

A nice fresh coat of blacktop might help tide us over until the much anticipated Port connector road from Fairview to Ridley Island is completed.

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