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Archived - Roberts Bank Rail Corridor upgrades benefit communities, boost Asia-Pacific trade

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No. GC006
For release - December 20, 2011

TSAWWASSEN, BRITISH COLUMBIA — Local commuters, farmers and truckers now have a safer, more reliable route to cross Deltaport Way at 41B Street without being delayed by long trains and truck traffic, thanks to a newly completed overpass.

"Demand for Canadian exports in Asia-Pacific markets continues to grow at a rapid rate, and investments such as these along the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor are furthering Canada's competitive advantages, improving infrastructure in local communities, and creating jobs and prosperity for workers, businesses and families," said the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. "With the completion of the 41B overpass and, eventually, the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor overall, we are strengthening Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway, while positioning the West Coast as the corridor of choice between Canada and the high-growth Asia-Pacific markets."

41B is the first of nine projects completed in the $307-million Roberts Bank Rail Corridor (RBRC) Program and will ease traffic congestion in the communities of Delta, Surrey, the City of Langley and the Township of Langley. The RBRC Program comprises eight overpasses and one railway siding in a 70-kilometre stretch that connects Roberts Bank, which contains Canada's largest container facility (Deltaport) and coal terminal (Westshore), to the North American rail network. The RBRC is expected to carry increasing volumes of goods from around the world that we use here every day, as well as Canadian exports.

"Strengthening infrastructure to get our goods and services to expanding markets in Asia and the world is a pillar of the B.C. Jobs Plan," said B.C. Agriculture Minister Don McRae on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Blair Lekstrom. "The 41B project, which created more than 150 construction jobs, supports our growing trade and improves the quality of life for local farmers and all families by providing a safer connection within the community."

The overpass will also provide improved access to the Tsawwassen First Nation Gateway Logistics Centre.

"The Asia-Pacific Gateway and Deltaport are key areas for growth opportunities for Tsawwassen First Nation's new Tsawwassen Gateway Logistics Centre — which links directly to Deltaport and the South Fraser Perimeter Road system," said Chief Kim Baird of the Tsawwassen First Nation. "The 41B overpass is a critical link in expediting traffic from our centre and is a further indication of the strategic economic partnership TFN has with the B.C. government."

The RBRC Program is funded by 12 public and private partners: Transport Canada, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, TransLink, Port Metro Vancouver, the Corporation of Delta, the City of Surrey, the City of Langley, the Township of Langley, CN, CP Rail, British Columbia Railway Company and BNSF Railway.

The $24-million 41B Street overpass project is funded by the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure ($5.5 million), British Columbia Railway Company ($12.6 million), Transport Canada ($3.5 million) and Port Metro Vancouver ($2.4 million).

"The RBRC Program exemplifies the Asia-Pacific Gateway strategy in action," said president and chief executive officer of Port Metro Vancouver, Robin Silvester. "Working together with the federal and provincial governments, we are advancing infrastructure projects that will benefit the community, and support Canadian trade and jobs in the most sustainable way possible."

The RBRC Program is working proactively to make improvements to road and rail to accommodate increasing traffic around growing communities and ensure residents can travel through the corridor safely, with minimal delays and impacts on their quality of life. British Columbia's trade with Asia is increasing through Canada's Pacific Gateway. Pacific Gateway partners have committed $22 billion to expand and enhance port, rail, road and airport infrastructure in the Pacific Gateway to meet those growing demands.

– 30 –

Contacts:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the
Asia-Pacific Gateway. Ottawa
613-992-7332

Kate Trotter
Government Communications and Public Engagement
B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
250-356-8241

Barbara Joy-Kinsella, Media Relations
Port Metro Vancouver
604-665-9267
Barbara.joy-kinsella@portmetrovancouver.com

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055

For more information about the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor Program and the Pacific Gateway, visit www.robertsbankrailcorridor.ca.

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news at www.tc.gc.ca/e-news or stay connected through RSS, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

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Backgrounder

Roberts Bank Rail Corridor 41B Street overpass at Deltaport Way

The Roberts Bank Rail Corridor (RBRC) Program is a comprehensive package of road and rail improvements funded through a unique collaboration of 12 public- and private-sector partners. The $307-million program is designed to improve the safety and efficiency of the road and rail network. It will also enhance the quality of life for residents of communities through which rail traffic travels to and from Port Metro Vancouver terminals at Roberts Bank in Delta.

The partners are working proactively to improve road access and safety for local residents by providing alternate routes over busy railways. Partners include Transport Canada, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, TransLink, Port Metro Vancouver (PMV), the Corporation of Delta, the City of Surrey, the City of Langley, the Township of Langley, CN Rail, Canadian Pacific, British Columbia Railway Company and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.

The eight overpasses and one rail siding project in the RBRC Program will be completed by 2014. Other rail improvements will reduce whistle blowing, close rail crossings and provide an advanced early warning system that will notify drivers of approaching trains. These improvements will also reduce vehicle idling time and greenhouse gas emissions.

These RBRC projects are underway to connect each of the corridor communities and provide drivers with alternate routes over rail lines, reduce congestion, increase safety, improve emergency vehicle access and reduce idling times.

The $24-million 41B Street overpass project was designed to improve safety and community livability and enhance economic opportunities. The overpass enables local commuters, farmers and trucks to cross Deltaport Way and the rail lines without idling or being delayed by long trains and heavy traffic. The 41B project also meets the demand for increased international freight to and from PMV's Deltaport and Westshore terminals.

The Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) was a key part of this project, working with the contractor to build a detour road, providing better access to TFN and creating new employment opportunities.

December 2011


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