Work on a new westbound passing lane leaving Jaffary will begin in early July, as the Highway 3 project is anticipated to be complete by 2021.

Budgeted at $9.2-million, the passing lane is cost-shared with the federal government, as more than $3-million is coming from the New Building Canada Fund, while the B.C. Government is covering the remaining $6.2-million.

“Traffic leaving Jaffray frequently gets backed up. Construction of a passing lane will provide people with a safe opportunity to pass slower-moving vehicles,” said the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Work will also include the addition of a two-metre wide paved shoulder to improve cyclist safety, as well as a wildlife tunnel and wildlife-exclusion fencing to help prevent collisions with wildlife.”

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Cranbrook’s Bad Ventures Ltd. was awarded the project and will break ground in early July. The B.C. Government said every effort will be made to minimize disruptions to local traffic during construction, but routine updates on conditions will be provided through Drive BC.

“The ministry is working closely with all contractors and WorkSafeBC to ensure health and safety are maintained for all workers on site,” added the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Provincial construction sites have protocols and policies in place following the requirements of the provincial health officer to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Working alongside the Highway 3 Mayors’ and Chairs’ Coalition to identify important projects and priorities, the B.C. Ministry said projects and improvements include the construction of passing lanes, replacing ageing infrastructure, increasing safety, and improving community access.

The Highway 3 corridor stretches about 840 kilometres from the B.C. Alberta border east of Sparwood all the way west to Hope, with over 4,600 daily using the Highway. The B.C. Ministry said the amount of traffic increases to about 5,400 vehicles a day during the summer months.

MORE: Jaffray Highway 3 Passing Lane (B.C. Government)