VANCOUVER - British Columbia's multibillion dollar plans for a liquefied natural gas industry will soon affect where the rubber meets the road — literally.
The Ministry of Transportation says it will boost maintenance classifications for Highways 16 and 97 North, which roughly bisect the province through Prince George.
Both routes will receive Class A status, which will mean more maintenance, improved plowing, salting and sanding, quicker response times, and more patrols.
With the exception of short sections through several cities and towns, both highways are currently maintained at a Class B level, appropriate for rural highways.
The ministry says the changes will be implemented in mid- to late-February, covering the Highway 16 corridor from Prince Rupert east to the Alberta boundary and the entire northern section of Highway 97 from Cache Creek to north of Fort St. John.
The province says both routes are critical corridors supporting liquefied natural gas development and other industrial growth in the North.