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Westbound passing lane project on Highway 3 near Jaffray completed

The new westbound passing lane on Highway 3 near Jaffray has been completed.

The B.C. government said the project was to help improve traffic flow, capacity and safety on the busy route.

“Highway 3 is an extremely important roadway and people rely on it to travel all the way from the Alberta border to Hope,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“This will ease traffic in the East Kootenays and will save travelers valuable time, while keeping them safe.”

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The province said the new two-kilometre passing lane will address congestion by providing a safe passing option and cyclists will benefit from a two-metre wide paved shoulder.

The B.C. government said Highway 3 is a vital trade route for goods and services and sees high traffic volumes with an average of 4,700 vehicles per day, and up to 5,500 vehicles in the summer.

“Investments in road infrastructure are key to connecting communities and ensuring adequate access to goods and services,” said Carla Qualtrough, federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.

“The Government of Canada has invested $3 million in this project, which will help manage traffic volume, improve road safety for motorists and cyclists, and reduce travel times. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”

The province said a wildlife tunnel is being built to provide safety for dozens of species of wildlife in the area that regularly cross the highway.

One kilometre of wildlife fencing is also going up to help funnel wildlife to the safe crossing.

This $9-million project was funded by the Government of Canada New Building Canada Fund and the Province of B.C.

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