The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says measures are underway to address safety concerns regarding the ongoing Highway 99 upgrade at an exit from Ladner Trunk Road.
Delta South MLA Ian Paton last week raised the alarm about what drivers are currently facing exiting Ladner Trunk Road southbound, just before the Ladner Trunk/Highway 99 interchange, to get onto Highway 99 southbound.
If drivers on Ladner Trunk keep to the right to take the exit instead of the overpass, once they get off the narrow exit lane, there is not enough merge roadway at the construction zone on the highway itself for drivers to smoothly merge.
The merge lane was ripped up and construction pilons are forcing drivers onto the highway more immediately, or to stop, which Paton fears will result in serious accidents.
Paton said he raised his concerns with Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord and planned to discuss the issue with Transportation Minister Rob Fleming.
The Optimist made an inquiry to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, which responded that the City of Delta raised the issue earlier this month.
The ministry said in an emailed statement that a temporary yield from Ladner Trunk Road onto eastbound Highway 99 was put in place while paving for the eastbound bus on shoulder lane is completed. The speed limit along Highway 99 in the area was reduced to 60 km/h, while the work is underway.
The project team has also reached out to the RCMP regarding additional speed enforcement during the project.
The ministry added the project and contractor last week took “immediate action” and began implementing several measures, including paving to increase the length of the merge, and work will be done to ensure a smoother transition from the temporary merge to the highway for drivers.
Additional signage would be installed to alert drivers to the temporary yield and speed limits.
It is expected that paving in the area will be completed by the end of June, the ministry noted, adding that the temporary yield will be removed at that time, and the full ramp will provide additional space for merging.
The Highway 99 Tunnel Program involves a series of upgrade projects over the next several years, projects to be completed in advance a new eight-lane immersed tunnel that is to open in 2030.
The projects include bus-on-shoulder transit lanes on Highway 99 to make trips by transit quicker.