A major highway upgrade in Delta is getting underway.
Delta MP Carla Qualtrough, Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon and others were on hand Friday for a ceremonial shovel in the ground for the Highway 91/17 upgrade project, a combination of improvements to Highway 91, Highway 17 and the Highway 91 Connector, including:
* Improvements to Highway 91 at Nordel interchange
* Upgrades to the Highway 91 connector at Nordel Way intersection
* A new interchange at Highway 17 and Highway 91 connector (Sunbury)
* A new interchange at River Road connecting to Highway 17.
"We are proud to be working closely with regional partners and municipalities in B.C. to get projects built that contribute to safety and improve people's lives," said Carla Qualtrough, federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, on behalf of Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, in a news release.
"These important upgrades to Highway 91/17 will help keep commuter and commercial traffic moving safely and smoothly across Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. This is key to strengthening the local economy, easing traffic flows and creating jobs."
Following the procurement process for the design-build agreement, the project budget was increased from $245.2 million to $260.2 million to reflect a variety of factors, including current market conditions.
Funding partners for the project 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.
"We know people are frustrated with the traffic gridlock in this region, especially at peak times of the day. It's a busy on-the-road network with lots of commercial vehicles, as well as commuters who are on their way to work or school," said Ravi Kahlon, MLA for Delta North, on behalf of Claire Trevena, B.C.'s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
"Through this significant safety improvement project, we are working to solve these traffic headaches by creating better connections and faster, safer routes for everyone on the road."
The work builds on the success of the South Fraser Perimeter Road and the Alex Fraser Bridge and 72nd Avenue interchange improvements.
Once complete, the series of roadworks will increase highway efficiency and provide an easier commute for residents and commercial vehicles.
Better acceleration and merge lanes, along with additional interchanges will enhance safety for drivers. The expected completion date for the project is 2023.
"Over the past decade, we have been pleased to work with the province to build important projects, such as the Highway 91/17 upgrade project, to improve the flow of goods throughout the region, while helping to reduce congestion for local communities," said Robin Silvester, president and CEO of the Vancouver Port Authority.
"The joint effort and support of all partners involved in this project will go a long way toward reducing bottlenecks and improving supply-chain efficiency, which will benefit our nation's ability to grow our trade."