November 30 - Effective immediately, the Canadian province of British Columbia is expanding its network of where trucks can haul heavy and high value cargo, such as oversized construction materials used in the oil and gas industry.

"When we put these transportation improvements into effect, we're enabling our LNG, mining, energy, forestry, tourism and other industries to thrive," said British Columbia transportation and infrastructure minister Todd Stone.

"Expanding the pre-approved heavy haul routes in British Columbia will be a benefit to businesses and the shipping industry, for LNG development in the north and ultimately, for our provincial economy." 

As part of B.C. on the Move - the province's new ten-year transportation plan - the government committed to deliver an explicit trucking strategy, which included the creation of more pre-approved routes around the province for delivering heavy project cargo from its origin to a work site.

Two new pre-approved routes for shipments with gross vehicle weights (GVW) of 85 tonnes, include: Highway 17 from the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal to the Junction of Highway 1 and Highway 15; and an extension of the Highway 16 route from Terrace to Kitwanga.

Creating a pre-approved heavy haul route on Highway 17 connects Fraser Surrey Docks, which is part of Port Metro Vancouver, to the 85-tonne network, said the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure; while the pre-approved route on Highway 16 from Terrace to Kitwanga closes a gap in the 85-tonne route, and means that trucks hauling oversize loads have a continuous route from Alberta through to Kitimat.

These pre-approved routes will give shippers the flexibility to plan their routes and know what permit conditions they would need to address, said the ministry, adding that shippers will also have the certainty to know they will be able to receive a permit quickly when within the policy guidelines. 

Both of these newly upgraded routes are also being considered for further upgrades to allow for the hauling of 125-tonne loads.

See more about B.C. on the Move here.