The government of British Columbia is investing $20.7 million in upgrading the province’s roadways under a plan dubbed the Climate Adaption Program. The program features a number of projects throughout BC that the government says will boost the resiliency of the British Columbia highway network and help cut the adverse effects of climate change.
Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure says one of the key threats to the reliability of BC’s highway network is climate related. Such threats include high-intensity rainfall events, extreme freshet seasons and flooding.
“These events have been increasing in intensity due to climate change, and this initiative ensures a reliable transportation system will be in place for future emergency events as well as the continued movement of people, goods and services,” said Fleming.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for a reliable transportation network to help ensure people living in rural communities can quickly get to medical facilities and first responders, medical personnel and supplies can get to remote communities in a timely fashion.
Over 60 locations in BC will be included in the Horgan government’s plan to mitigate the effects of climate change and at the same time, provide jobs to British Columbians.
“Our StrongerBC Economic Recovery Plan is about getting people back to work while also supporting B.C. communities to become more resilient to the impacts of climate change,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “The projects generated by this program will create good jobs and improve B.C.’s transportation network, contributing to the strong economic recovery of communities in every corner of our province.”
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, says the investment will upgrade systems currently in place that guard against extreme flooding, erosion and other events linked to climate change. “It’s part of our economic recovery plan and CleanBC commitment to help people, communities and the natural environment protect against the impacts of climate change.”
According to Rob Fleming, the projects will be spread throughout BC, and will benefit many communities, “particularly small construction companies that have seen a reduction in work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Projects include riverbank erosion protection, creek channel training, culvert upsizing, flood protection works, slope erosion protection and avalanche system maintenance.