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New Fort St. John highway intersection to create safer, improved traffic flow

FORT ST. JOHN – Construction crews start work next week on a project to build a new four-way, signalized intersection at Highway 97 and Swanson Lumber Road (259 Road), southeast of Fort St. John.

The new intersection will enhance safety and reduce traffic delays for people in the region.

As part of this project, crews will build a nearly 500-metre frontage road starting at Barrette Road (257A Road) that runs west to align with the new intersection. This new road will redirect the current accesses to Highway 97 to the new intersection, providing area residents and businesses easier and safer access to the highway.

“The safety of our residents is paramount,” said Mayor Lori Ackerman. “Council looked at a transportation plan for the city that would ensure safe movement of our residents and businesses. We appreciate the investment being made at this intersection that will allow for safer entrance onto and egress off the highway.”

The current intersection is a stop-sign controlled T-intersection. This contributes to congestion coming off Swanson Lumber Road and causes significant traffic delays, which will increase as traffic volumes rise. The project is estimated to be complete in fall 2021.

The $11.1-million project was funded through $6.4 million from the province and $4.7 million from the Government of Canada.

Highway 97 is the longest continuously numbered route in British Columbia, running 2,081 kilometres from the Canada-United States border (near Osoyoos) in the south to the British Columbia-Yukon border (north of Watson Lake) in the north.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is working closely with the contactor, IDL Project Inc. of Prince George, and WorkSafeBC to ensure health and safety are maintained for all workers on site.

Once the project begins, drivers can expect delays of up to 20 minutes and occasional single-lane, alternating traffic. The ministry appreciates people’s patience during this project. Drivers are reminded to obey construction zone speed limits and the direction of traffic control personnel.

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