The federal government is investing $9.2-million in the next phase of Ashcroft’s inland port.
The funds were announced in Ashcroft Wednesday morning by Minister of Transport Marc Garneau.
The facility will allow the transfer of a range of products from lumber, to potash and grain to be loaded and offloaded from trains and trucks, or stored.
Garneau says the facility is part of a national strategy to get Canadian products to world markets quicker.
“There are a number of bottlenecks and congestion points in this, the second biggest country on earth that need to be addressed and that is exactly what the National Trade Corridors Fund is about. It’s to fund projects that will help to de-bottleneck. To remove bottlenecks, and to make our transportation as efficient as possible.”
The National Trade Corridors Fund is a $2-billion pot of money to be allocated over 11 years for transportation infrastructure.
This year the government received over 400 applications, the Ashcroft Terminal was one of only 35 to make the cut.
Private investment makes up the bulk of the $28-million that was needed to build the next phase of expansion.
The federal contribution makes up the final one-third that was needed to proceed.
Upgrades covered in this phase include the construction of warehouses and storage facilities for a range of products including lumber, grain, potash and consumer goods.
Ashcroft Terminal Managing Director Kleo Landucci says separated grade road and electrical infrastructure will also be built.
“Currently all of our track infrastructure – 32,000 feet – is off the CP main line directly. With this announcement within this project scope we will be able to connect directly to the CN main line and add additional martialling, storage and preparation track off the CN main.”
Fraser-Nicola BC Liberal MLA Jackie Tegart says the expansion will have an impact of traffic congestion and shipping bottlenecks in the Lower Mainland.
“To be able to load here in Ashcroft and ship things directly down to the ships will alleviate pressure on the Agricultural Land Reserve in the Lower Mainland and also will alleviate traffic congestion.”
It is estimated the expansion will create about 250 jobs during construction.