The busy Trans–Canada Highway is getting wider.
Politicians from three levels of government gathered in Langley Tuesday morning to announce a $235.5 million project to make it six lanes as far east as Aldergrove.
“As traffic along this stretch of Highway 1 continues to increase, it’s important to get going on a fix and get the traffic moving again,” said Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman. “Investing in this second phase of six-laning will help get this safety and capacity upgrade project moving.”
The announcement was made on the highway on ramp during busy morning traffic where the policiticians called 232nd a bottleneck in Lower Mainland transportation.
“A lot of residents have been talking to me about it. They want it fixed,” said Township Mayor Jack Froese.
The provincial commitment to the project is $113 million for what’s being called phase 2 of the Fraser Valley Project.
The first phase is the overpass project at 216th Street and the six laning from 208th to 216th Streets. Work begins construction soon. Coleman said the rest of the project would progress quickly. Design work is expected to start this autumn.
“People have been pushing very hard to convince various levels of governments of this,” said Abbotsford West MLA Michael de Jong of the project.
Langley MLA Mary Polak, once the transportation minister, noted that this project will link in with the highway construction west of Langley but could not say if or when there might be an HOV component.
“I’m so glad to see that relief is on the way for the commuters who struggle everyday with traffic to and from the valley on Highway 1,” said Langley MLA Mary Polak. “This is exactly the type of investment that makes life easier for families who call our communities home.”
Attending the announcement were municipal and provincial politicians from Abbotsford. Eventually the widening is planned to stretch as far east as Whatcom Road (Highway 11).
In addition to the six lanes, the project includes replacing the 232nd Street interchange, replacement of the Glover Road overpass, removal and construction of a new CP Rail crossing, and a new commercial truck parking facility on Hwy. 17 under the Port Mann Bridge.
The BC Trucking Association is pleased with the plans.
“Six-laning Highway 1 between 216th and 264th Streets will be a boon to both our trucking and motor coach members that operate in the Lower Mainland,” said Louise Yako, president and CEO of the association. “Reducing congestion means fuel savings and fewer greenhouse gas emissions, both a priority for our industry and a benefit for the general public. As well, height increases in the upgrades to the Glover Road overpass and the CP Rail crossing will remove obstructions for overheight vehicles. These improvements are a good move for our industry and for B.C.”
This segment of Highway 1 has a daily traffic volume of more than 80,000 vehicles. Of these vehicles, about 6,000 on this stretch are commercial trucks.