$5 Million Received for Chemainus River Bridge Replacement - North Cowichan

North Cowichan residents will soon have an easier commute thanks to an investment of over $5 million from Canadas Gas Tax Fund to replace the Chemainus River Bridge.

Our Government is proud to deliver permanent annual infrastructure funding for municipalities through Canada's Gas Tax Fund, said James Lunney, MP for NanaimoAlberni, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. Investing in the infrastructure priorities of local communities creates jobs and economic growth, and I am pleased that the Gas Tax Fund is supporting this key project to widen the Chemainus Bridge and make it safer and more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists.

In 2007, it was determined that the current Chemainus River Bridge, which was built in 1952 from creosote-treated lumber, would require replacement within two to five years. The new bridge will combine a steel plate girder design with a concrete deck and is anticipated to have a serviceable life of at least 75 years. A wider deck will facilitate two-way traffic, and will include a dedicated pedestrian and cycling lane as part of the Trans Canada Trail and the Cowichan Valley Regional Trail and Cycle Network.

We are grateful to the federal and provincial governments for this contribution to our communities, and for helping us preserve this important link between our communities, said Jon Lefebure, Mayor of North Cowichan. The new bridge is also designed to minimize impacts on sensitive fish habitat which is very important to our citizens and the local First Nations.

Canadas Gas Tax Fund provides stable, long-term funding to local governments and other organizations to help them build and revitalize public infrastructure. A program of Infrastructure Canada, the fund primarily supports capital projects such as local roads, public transit, energy systems and waste management infrastructure that lead to cleaner air, cleaner water or reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) administers the Gas Tax Fund in BC in collaboration with Canada and British Columbia.

On December 15, 2011, the Government of Canada passed legislation to make the Gas Tax Fund a permanent annual investment of $2 billion.

Much of the infrastructure built in the 50s and 60s in BC communities is near the end of its life cycle, said Heath Slee, President of the UBCM. Replacing these facilities is stretching local government finances. UBCM appreciates the support the Gas Tax Fund is providing to replace and renew core infrastructure.

For further information on the Government of Canadas infrastructure investments in British Columbia, visitwww.infrastructure.gc.ca.

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visitwww.actionplan.gc.ca.

Additional Contacts:

Pierre Florea
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Jeff Rud, Communications Director
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
Paul Taylor, Relationships and Communications Advisor
Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154