Special to The Chief
The detailed work involved in the $600 million Sea-to-Sky Improvement Project along with the vision, creativity, and leadership of two B.C. public servants have led to their selection as finalists for a Premier's Award in innovation and excellence in B.C. public service programs.
Frank Blasetti and Richard Fyfe have been credited and recognized as the driving force behind the Ministry of Transportation business models for delivering highway infrastructure to reduce the cost of new highway facilities to taxpayers.
"[The Sea-to-Sky Project] is one of four transportation projects brought forward that exemplify how these two gentlemen work together in a P3, private/public partnership, model," said acting assistant Deputy Minister for business transformation and learning, Dale Christenson.
The additional passing lanes, improved sight-lines, safer intersections, and the installation of meridian-barriers are only a few of the design innovations acknowledged for improving the safety, travel time capacity, and the reliability along Highway 99.
Sea-to-Sky improvements are currently underway throughout the corridor in an effort to finalize construction by 2010. Road upgrades and new safety features are expected to decrease motor vehicle accidents along the highway by 30 percent.
Drilling and land clearing at Furry Creek, Rubble Creek, Gonzales Creek, and north of the Cheakamus Canyon is expected to cause up to 30-minute travel delays this month with more expected through 2009.
With nearly 14,000 vehicles traveling the stretch each day, thousands of drivers are affected by their work.
"They saved a great deal of money that can be reassigned to other areas of highway improvement," said Christenson.
A total of 66 nominations were submitted to a panel of external adjudicators and judges for consideration in six categories of public service: Innovation, Leadership, Partnership, Service Excellence, Cross-Government Integration, and Organizational Excellence.
Blasetti and Fyfe have been nominated in the Leadership category.
Premier Gordon Campbell will announce the winners and present the Premier's Awards at the Victoria Convention Centre ceremony on March 29, 2006.