Kitimat Pushes For Highway 37 Upgrades

Upgrading, or completely redoing it from scratch? That was the debate at Kitimat council this week regarding a large stretch of Highway 37.

Repairs have been talked about for years now, and council has said it will focus on working with the Ministry of Transportation to improve the much travelled highway.

Determining, and in need of upgrades. That's how highway 37 south was described at Kitimat's council meeting this week.

Council had a brief discussion regarding different things the Ministry of Transportation can do to improve the stretch of highway between Onion Lake and Kitimat.

"There has gotta be some upgrades. I mean no doubt the highways department with Darrell Gunn and his group in Terrace they do a great job and they do what they can. It's deteriorating so quickly that I don't think they can just keep up with it." Kitimat Mayor Phil Germuth said.

Over a half a million dollars of intermittent patching was done to highway over the last year, but the Ministry of Transportation has recognized more work is need to maintain safety on the highway.

"This is a high priority. So we really do anticipate that there will be a resurfacing project in the near future in the next one to three years typically." Said the Regional Manager for the Ministry of Transportation, Darrell Gunn.

While realizing the perfect scenario would be to completely redo the highway from scratch,

Kitimat Mayor Phil Germuth acknowledges any improvements to the highway well be well received.

"The big problem is, is that when the highway was built it is the base underneath that I believe it was built on top of decaying trees and things like that. It's always going to be there until they can do a complete make over. To basically do a perfect job they would have to dig everything up and redo it which is a huge amount of money." Gunn continued.

While approval of a potential upgrade is still in the works, the Ministry has already begun planning for what they feel needs to be upgraded in the next instalment of Highway 37 construction.

With Kitimat council stating this will be something they will focus on in 2018 only time will tell if this year is in fact the year that something will happen on Highway 37.