The Government of British Columbia announced that the next phase of Highway 1 expansion through the Fraser Valley to the Sumas Prairie has begun, which will relieve traffic congestion and accommodate more sustainable transportation options in the region.

Accelerated advance work along the Highway 1 median east of 264th Street has begun, with work delivered by local companies including Kwantlen First Nation. People travelling Highway 1 will see crews in the median undertaking utility relocation, median soil removal, tree clearing and preloading of soil. This work will prepare the area between 264th Street and Mt. Lehman Road for the addition of high occupancy vehicle (HOV)/electric vehicle lanes and other multi-modal upgrades.

“The Fraser Valley is growing fast and we are building infrastructure that people need,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “People need to be able to get to work and back home without facing gridlock. We’re taking action to relieve congestion for drivers, to make goods movement more efficient and to accommodate more sustainable transportation options.”

The widening of Highway 1 between 264th Street and Mt. Lehman Road has an approved budget of $2.34 billion. This is Phase 3A of the Province’s Fraser Valley Highway 1 Corridor Improvement Program, a multi-phase program to improve goods movement and travel along Highway 1 in the Fraser Valley through the Sumas Prairie to Chilliwack.

The centrepiece of Phase 3A will be a new 264th Street Interchange, reconfigured to better serve road users in the region. The 264th Street area is highly travelled during morning and afternoon hours, including a high volume of commercial vehicles heading to and from the border crossing. Along with more efficient goods movement, the new interchange will include improvements for active transportation, truck parking and public transit. The new interchange is in procurement, with construction expected to begin in 2024.

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The 264th Street Interchange and associated highway widening is one of the three major construction contracts that make up Phase 3A. The other contracts will be upgrades to the Mt. Lehman Interchange and 3.7 kilometres of highway widening, and replacement of the Bradner Road overpass with 3.9 kilometres of highway widening. These contracts will go to tender in 2024. Completion of Phase 3A is expected in 2029.

Work is underway on Phase 2 between 216th and 264th streets, with a new Glover Road overpass currently under construction and completion expected in summer 2024.

Two more tenders are on track for release, including a new interchange at 232nd Street and highway widening for HOV lanes, along with a replacement to the existing CP Rail overhead.

“People who live in our Fraser Valley communities rely on Highway 1 for more than just commuting. It’s also our connection to schools, sports, shopping and other social activities,” said Dan Coulter, Minister of State for Transit and Infrastructure and MLA for Chilliwack. “These improvements will enhance connections between communities, make transit more reliable and add much-needed active transportation infrastructure to our region.”

Further east along Highway 1 between Mt. Lehman Road and Highway 11, advanced site-preparation work is planned for early 2024 ahead of construction on that phase of the program.

The scope of the program has expanded and a fourth phase extends through the Sumas Prairie into Chilliwack. This future phase of the Fraser Valley Highway 1 Improvement Program through the Sumas Prairie will address the need for improvements to infrastructure to make it more resilient to changing climate.

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The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has committed $30 million to an integrated planning study, which is happening in parallel with flood-mitigation strategy planning work. This study will identify potential future improvements along the Trans-Canada Highway corridor between the Sumas Prairie and Chilliwack.

Featured image: (B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

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