British Columbia’s Highway 91/17 upgrade project has reached the 50 per cent completion mark and is on track for completion in spring 2023.
The project will improve safety for people travelling through the region and support growing economic and trade development south of the Fraser River. The series of road and highway upgrades will improve travel time and provide a reliable route through Delta for residents, commercial truck drivers, transit operators, first responders and other travellers.
Another upcoming major milestone is the opening of the Highway 17 River Road Overpass. The first new structure of the project will fully open in late September 2021 and will eliminate travel delays for Highway 17 travellers at this location. When this new structure opens, the temporary lane shift on Highway 17 will cease and Highway 17 will revert to its pre-project alignment. The full Highway 17/River Road interchange is scheduled to open this fall, creating a more direct connection between Highway 17 and River Road.
Additional project components that opened this summer include:
- a new exit from Highway 17 westbound to River Road; and
- a new ramp from Highway 91 Connector westbound to access Highway 17 eastbound.
The project includes a combination of safety and capacity improvements to Highway 91, Highway 17 and the Highway 91 Connector, including:
- Highway 91 at Nordel Interchange– upgraded ramps to and from Delta, improved acceleration and deceleration lanes and additional through-lanes for Nordel Way traffic crossing over Highway 91.
- Highway 91 Connector at Nordel Way intersection upgrades– combination of direct-access roads and additional turning lanes to remove one signal light and improve all movements, including significantly improved access to and from the Nordel Way commercial vehicle inspection station and truck parking area.
- A new interchange at Highway 17 and Highway 91 Connector (Sunbury) and improvements to the River Road connection– replacing the existing signalized intersection and eliminating the need for an at-grade rail crossing to access the highway.
Once completed, the series of roadworks will increase highway efficiency and provide an easier commute for residents and better travel reliability for commercial vehicles. Better acceleration and merge lanes along with additional interchanges will boost safety for all drivers.
This project is part of the $260-million Highway 91/17 and Deltaport Way Upgrade Project package being delivered by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Funding partners include the Government of Canada through the National Infrastructure component of the New Building Canada Fund, the Province of British Columbia and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. The $5.2-million 27B Avenue upgrades component of this project is complete and was funded by the Tsawwassen First Nation.
The Province has a detailed environmental plan to protect and maintain the integrity of Burns Bog. The design-builder is required to develop construction management plans based on best practices to avoid or minimize potential construction-related environmental impacts, including air quality and dust control, soil erosion and sediment control, and protecting vegetation, wildlife and aquatic resources.
The ministry also performs strict environmental monitoring to ensure all commitments are being followed. This will continue after the project is finished to make sure long-term environmental protection measures are successful.
In December 2020, the realigned section of the Delta Nature Reserve boardwalk opened, improving access for people looking to experience the natural beauty of Burns Bog. Approximately 170 metres of the west section of the outer boardwalk loop was rebuilt and raised to minimize risk of flooding. The new alignment improves accessibility to environmental features such as the Hardhack Meadow and features four new viewing platforms.