The province is planning several road projects between Prince George and Smithers this year, including a sealcoating of the route to Granisle. (Black Press file photo)

The province is planning several road projects between Prince George and Smithers this year, including a sealcoating of the route to Granisle. (Black Press file photo)

Upgrade planned for Highway 118

Granisle mayor welcomes improvements

The provincial transportation ministry is planning to upgrade the Central Babine Lake Highway, which runs between Topley and Granisle, as part of a series of projects taking place in northern B.C. this year.

Asked about highway initiatives planned for the area between Smithers and Prince George, a ministry spokesperson said that Central Babine Lake Highway— also called Highway 118, the 49-km stretch of road leading to Granisle — will be sealcoated beginning in the summer months.

The process is a type of resurfacing meant extend the lifespan of a road by sealing out moisture with compacted gravel and an asphalt-water mixture. Sealcoating is also planned for Mapes Road, near Vanderhoof.

Granisle mayor Linda McGuire welcomed the news — but with a note of caution, saying that the province hadn’t formally announced the project yet.

“Granisle is always hopeful and welcomes any news surrounding improvements to our Hwy 118 stretch of road,” she said in an email to the Black Press.

“With the additional and increased logging traffic over the past few years utilizing Highway 118, more wear and tear becomes more noticeable,” she said, adding that the route’s condition was fair, but that it could use additional care and attention.

Other projects include an ongoing expansion of Highway 16 to four lanes, a familiar sight on a 3.4-km stretch just outside of Prince George. Several “intersections upgrades” are also taking place in that area, as part of a project that’s in its final year of construction, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Work is also slated to begin this summer on resurfacing some 36 km of highway between Josephine Road, east of Prince George, and Hillcrest Way, east of Vanderhoof.