Ottawa providing more than $3.5 million for major upgrades to River Road.
The improvements, announced Friday, will be done in two stages a 1.9km section from the Cameron Street Bridge to Foley Crescent and a 1.7km section from Foley Crescent to the CN Rail bridge over the Fraser River.
“The (request for proposal) has been prepared,” city operations superintendent Bill Gaal said. “The hope is that the section of River Road that is gravel could be done this year.”
During the ice jam and flood on the Nechako River from December 2007 to February 2008, a temporary gravel berm was built on top of the paved River Road.
The berm has remained in place as a gravel road.
The improvements to River Road will include raising the roadway to the 200-year flood plain level an increase of 20-100 cm above the original paved road. However the raised road will not protect several homes, Winton Global’s offices and some plant infrastructure are on the river side of the road.
In 2008, the Nechako River Industry Group had offered the city $1 million to develop a riverside berm rather than raise River Road.
In addition, the funding from the Asia Pacific Corridor Gateway Initiative transportation infrastructure fund will be used to widen the road, add street lights and improve storm and groundwater management.
When finished, the road will have 3.75m wide travel lanes and two-metre-wide bike lanes.
The project also calls for upgrades to accommodate left turns into the CN Rail intermodal transshipment facility.
The city had applied for provincial funding to upgrade the road in 2007, before the ice jam and flood, but was rejected at that time.
The federal funding will cover up to 50 per cent of the project costs, development services director Grant Bain said. The city allocated $3.9 million in its capital plan for its share of the upgrade.
“During difficult times to get some of our tax dollars back to create local employ employment is appreciated,” Coun. Don Bassermann said. “I’m delighted to support this.”