Langley area politicians announced a $25.5 million federal-provincial project to upgrade Hwy. 13 at the Aldergrove Port of Entry on August 9.

$25.5 million upgrade to Hwy. 13 border traffic

The governments of Canada and B.C. will jointly invest $25.5 million in upgrades to Hwy. 13 at the Aldergrove Port of Entry

The governments of Canada and B.C. will jointly invest $25.5 million in upgrades to Hwy. 13 at the Aldergrove Port of Entry.

The announcement was made at the Aldergrove border crossing on August 9 by MPs John Aldag and Mark Warawa, MLA Rich Coleman and Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese.

The infrastructure improvement project is currently in the design phase with tenders to be let in spring 2017 and construction to begin once the contract is awarded.

The project aims to reduce traffic congestion and improve border access for all traffic, including access for farmers and residents in the busy area.

The highway will be widened from one lane to three southbound lanes to provide separate NEXUS and truck traffic lanes.

The northbound traffic will be widened to two lanes to provide a truck climbing lane up the hill from the border.

In addition, there will be a new two-lane east-west connection at 3B Avenue, between Hwy. 13 and 264 Street.

The federal government is contributing $10 million to this project and the province is funding the other $15.5 million. It follows significant improvements made to the Aldergrove-Lynden border crossing in recent years.

MP Aldag said the project is a priority identified in the Canada-B.C. Agreement recently signed by the Prime Minister and Premier. The agreement provides $308 million over three years to major transportation projects in the province.

Coleman noted that the upgrades have been a long time coming, as they were identified as an urgent need 30 years ago when he served as the president of the Aldergrove Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor Froese said the project was “fantastic” as it would help the economy as well as provide better access for farmers and residents working and living in the area who are frequently stuck in the bottleneck of cross-border traffic.