248 Street overpass opens — but just for a few hours

Residents had a brief taste of new bridge on Friday, but it is now closed again

When this photo was taken in February

When this photo was taken in February

For a few hours on Friday (March 14), the brand-new 248 Street overpass was open to traffic.

Then, it closed again, much to the irritation of some local residents who contacted The Times to complain.

When asked for an explanation, the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure emailed an unsigned statement to The Times that said the overpass “was briefly opened on Friday for project construction vehicles, during which time motorists were also granted access.”

The overpass was then shut down again because it is “an active construction site and remains closed during the final construction and clean-up phase” the statement went on to say.

The overpass is expected to open “in the coming weeks” the statement added.

The new land bridge over the freeway is part of a $24 million project to make it easier for trucks to get on Highway 1 heading east by adding a third lane on the long hill between 232 and 264 Streets.

A fact sheet posted by the provincial government says traffic volume on that stretch of the highway reaches up to 3,500 vehicles per hour in the afternoon peak period, with trucks making up more than 14 per cent of the daily volume.

Traffic is increasing at about three per cent a year.

As part of the widening work, crews demolished the aging overpass at 248 Street to build a new structure that meets modern earthquake standards and includes a “multi-use pathway.”