By: Korie Marshall

A southbound passing lane on Highway 5, south of Valemount at Chappell Creek, will be constructed this summer, the BC government has announced.

The government has announced the $1.63 million contract has been awarded to Dawson construction of Kamloops. The contract is for design and construction of a passing lane, 1.44 kilometers long, near the entrance to the Chappell Creek snowmobiling parking lot. The project will duplicate the two existing entrances to the parking lot, says Monica Weatherly, spokesperson for the Liberal government caucus.

Weatherly says there are no anticipated changes to the tenured areas, either for Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiinig or for Valemount Area Recreation Development Association, who both access their tenures on the west side of the highway, adjacent to the passing lane project. Kinder Morgan maintains access to their pipeline pumping station on the east side of the highway at the same spot.

The government says the new passing lane will make travel along this corridor safer and more efficient for commercial and recreational traffic, and builds on work completed last year on a passing lane near Blue River.

The addition of passing lanes on Highway 5 have been a priority for her constituents, said Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond in a release.

“Many Robson Valley residents travel this corridor on a regular basis and the addition of the Chappell Creek passing lane will help ensure safer travel,” said Bond. “We look forward to additional investments and improvements in the coming years.”

Work on the Chappell Creek project is scheduled to begin in July and be completed by the end of September this year.
The government says Highway 5 is an integral part of the national and provincial highway system, a main north-south route connecting the southern Trans-Canada Highway No. 1 and the northern Yellowhead Trans-Canada Highway No. 16.