A new overpass is opening in Delta, part of a major highway project that has reached the halfway mark to the finish line.
That’s according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure regarding the Highway 91/17 Upgrade Project, a series of roadworks aimed at increasing highway efficiency and provide an easier commute for residents and better travel reliability for commercial vehicles.
In its latest update, the ministry says the upgrade project has reached 50 per cent completion and is on track for completion in spring 2023.
The project involves a combination of safety and capacity improvements to Highway 91, Highway 17 and the Highway 91 Connector.
The ministry notes an 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.
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 ministry explains.
The full Highway 17/River Road interchange is scheduled to open this fall, creating a more direct connection between Highway 17 and River Road.
Components of the project include improvements at the Highway 91 at Nordel Interchange.
Intersection upgrades at the Highway 91 Connector at Nordel Way include a combination of direct-access roads and additional turning lanes.
There’s also going to be a new interchange at Highway 17 and Highway 91 Connector (Sunbury) and improvements to the River Road connection.
The ministry also notes that additional project components that opened this summer include a new exit from Highway 17 westbound to River Road and a new ramp from the Highway 91 Connector westbound to access Highway 17 eastbound.
Meanwhile, the province says it has a detailed environmental plan to protect and maintain the integrity of Burns Bog.
The ministry says 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 says it also performs strict environmental monitoring to ensure all commitments are being followed, and it 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.
The highway upgrade project is part of the $260-million Highway 91/17 and Deltaport Way Upgrade Project by the province.
Funding partners include the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.
The $5.2-million 27B Avenue upgrades component of the project is already complete and was funded by the Tsawwassen First Nation.