$500,000 in planning and design work being undertaken in 2018.
Ross River residents who travel the Campbell Highway north to Carmacks will have to wait until next year to see road improvements for a nearly 70 kilometer stretch of Highway between Faro and Ross River.
Motorists for years have complained about that portion as being in poor condition. The Liberal’s 2018-19 budget earmarks $4.9 million for upgrades to the Campbell Highway, but that work is expected to take place at the south end near Watson Lake.
Area MLA Stacey Hassard (Pelly-Nisutlin) asks where the money is and the level of priority on the Faro to Ross River stretch. “We do know that the functional plan for the Campbell Highway is finished, but we don’t see anything in the government’s five–year capital plan. Could the Minister of Highways and Public Works tell us today if there is any money allocated to upgrade the Campbell Highway between Faro and Ross River in this year’s budget? Can he let us know if there are any plans to invest in this road in future years as well?”
Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn (Whitehorse West) did not provide Hassard with much details about the government's plans, only pledging that work is coming. “As I said last year, the stretch of road from Faro to Ross River is of utmost importance and I am happy to announce to the House today that work on that stretch of road is proceeding in fine order.”
Outside the Legislature, Mostyn told reporters that planning work for upgrades next year were now ongoing. He stated there was $500,000 for this year. Yet he made a caveat to his commitment for upgrades between Faro and Ross River, on if he could get the budget money next year. What also casts further doubt on whether there will be upgrades is that the project is not contained in the government’s five-year capital plan released Thursday. Mostyn suggested that if the project did get the green light, it would be added to the capital plan.
(Dan Jones March 6, 2018)