Quesnel North-South Interconnector
The Quesnel North-South Interconnector would increase safety and significantly reduce congestion, allowing commercial vehicles to avoid the downtown core.
In May 2019, we began a preliminary design on the proposed Quesnel North-South Interconnector. The design includes a new 3.7-km section of Highway 97 from North Star Road to River Park Road. The proposed route includes:
- Two new structures to replace the Quesnel River Bridge and the Quesnel Rail Crossing Bridge
- Two new signalized intersections that would connect to the existing Highway 97 alignment, including Front St. and the Moffat Bridge Approach
The North-South Interconnector was recommended as a long-term priority in the 2018 Quesnel Transportation Study. The Interconnector would increase safety and significantly reduce congestion, as commercial vehicles traveling through the region would be able to avoid the downtown core. The project is supported by the City of Quesnel and was the preferred option of the community during public engagement.
The Interconnector is anticipated to cost in the range of $350 to $500 million to construct. This is a very high-level estimate, as the project is in its early phase.
The project has completed the preliminary design phase.
The preliminary design was completed in March 2020 and involved further development of the Interconnector conceptual design, revision of the construction cost estimate and the development of a business case.
Considerations reviewed included:
- A roundabout at the south end tie-in
- A T-intersection at the north end tie-in
- Trail connectivity through the project including a pedestrian underpass, connection of River Park Road, new access to St. Ann’s Catholic Church and School
The design was optimized to reduce property impacts in the surrounding neighbourhood.
The traffic and safety review was updated and concluded that the Interconnector’s signalized intersection at Front Street/Highway 97 and the roundabout intersection at Legion Drive/Highway 97 would function with minimal interruptions.
A high-level environmental assessment provided recommendations that were taken into consideration during the preliminary design. These included limiting the number of piers in the water and using shorter spans to improve constructability and minimize the construction footprint.
We organized a Project Liaison Committee which included local business associations, industry, emergency services, the school district, utility companies, CN Rail, BC Transit and the BC Trucking Association.
Public engagement was part of the Quesnel Transportation Study and helped identify the Quesnel North-South Inteconnector as a long-term priority.