The SYD Road is a public resource road used primarily to access the oil and gas resources in the northeastern region of British Columbia. The former road currently began at Highway 97, south of Fort Nelson, and crossed the Fort Nelson River via an existing one-lane bridge that doubled as a railroad bridge for BC Rail and a highway bridge. The road continued in an easterly and northerly direction, servicing numerous gas fields for approximately 188 kilometers in length.
The road was built over a period of some 25 to 30 years, in sections, by different builders, as the gas fields were developed. The first section of the road, including the one-lane rail/road bridge, was a bottleneck that hampered the efficient flow of personnel, equipment, and materials to the drilling sites.
The SYD Clarke Lake Bypass Road (the Bypass) was constructed from Highway 97 (The Alaska Highway) to approximately km 30.5 on the existing SYD Road to eliminate this bottleneck. This section of the road, including a new Fort Nelson River Bridge, was completed in October 2004 and is now open to the public for use.
From km 30.5 onward, the existing SYD Road was upgraded in terms of alignment, bridges, functionality, width, and strength. This upgrade was completed in August 2005.
The Province of British Columbia and SYD Road Limited Partnership signed a 16 year, $40 million partnership agreement in June 2004 to design and upgrade the SYD road and then operate and maintain the road for a further 14 years.
The Province of British Columbia and Ledcor Highways Ltd. signed a 3 year Road Maintenance agreement in October 2020.
- Pre 1988
- The road had fractured ownership
- Access was via the Clarke Lake Road, starting near the south end of Fort Nelson and becoming the Sierra Yoyo Desan Road near km 30.
- Clarke Lake Road was under the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure jurisdiction from the Alaska Highway to km 8.
- Various industry owners from km 14.8 to km 5
- Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources road from 121.5 to 1
- The road had fractured ownership
- 1988: Sierra Yoyo Desan Road consolidated under BCTFA ownership
- 1998: Walter Construction contracted to maintain and provide some limited upgrade to the Sierra Yoyo Desan Road, build the Clarke Lake bypass (Section 1 of the Sierra Yoyo Desan Road), and Fort Nelson River Bridge (P3 bridge).
- December 2003: Sierra Yoyo Desan Road leased by BCTFA to Minister of Energy Mines for 99 years
- June 17, 2004: Concession Agreement executed
- 2004-2005: Fort Nelson River Bridge and Clarke Lake Bypass construction completed by Concessionaire, to a gravel surface
- March 2009: $187 million Upgrade Project announced by the
- July 2010: Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure tasked with delivering the Upgrade Project.
- 2009-2010: Concessionaire reconstructed and paved km 9.2 to km 5
- 2010: Spectra Energy Transmission contracts with Concessionaire to reconstruct Lichen Bridge (km 111) and Sahtaneh Bridge (km 113) [also known as PetroCan #1 and #2 Bridge]
- 2011-2012: km 30 – 40 and km 67 – 68 Upgrade was publicly tendered and awarded to Kledo Construction Ltd (a local Fort Nelson-based contractor) with completion in fall
- 2010-2011: Km 40 – 61 has upgraded to culverts and soft-spot repairs performed by the Concessionaire under day labour.
- 2012-2015: km 61 – 90 Upgrade was publicly tendered in fall 2012 and was awarded to Hoban Equipment Ltd. of Salmon Arm, BC, with completion in fall
- 2012-2014: km 90 – 121 Upgrade was publicly tendered in summer 2012 and was awarded to Kledo Construction Ltd with completion in
- 2020: Ledcor Highways Ltd. awarded three year Road Maintenance Contract