It was good news, but not quite all the news people might have been expecting.
On Friday afternoon, Nov. 16, District of Sicamous council chambers was packed with political types from throughout the area for special guests, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities François-Philippe Champagne and B.C. Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena, who were there to announce joint funding of $224.5 million is now in place for the replacement of the 50-plus year old Bruhn Bridge along Highway 1.
The federal government is contributing up to $91.1 million towards the project through the New Building Canada Fund-Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component-National and Regional Projects fund, with the province picking up $133.4 million.
What wasn’t announced, however, was the bridge option the province has chosen to go with.
“I know people are wondering about the final design decision, is it going to be two bridges or one bridge –I’m not going to say,” said Trevena. “Staff are putting the finishing touches on that important consultation and it will be known next month.”
Both Trevena and Champagne emphasized the importance of the project to improving safety along the national highway.
“I think about stories that everyone in this room has heard about Highway 1, whether it’s here in Sicamous, whether it’s through Revelstoke, whether it’s Salmon Arm, people are injured or killed on our highway,” said Trevena. “That’s why we as a government are committed to making sure that we move on four-laning the highway, making it as safe as possible.”
Rysz noted how when the Trans-Canada opened through Rogers Pass in 1962, the corridor saw within the first three months more than one-million vehicles pass through.
“You can just imagine how many vehicles have gone across that corridor since then… literally millions and millions of vehicles,” said Rysz. “So you can understand the importance when it comes to safety and that’s why we here in Sicamous that live this every single day have to appreciate what’s going on here today.”