After 14 days of driver frustration, negative impacts to our business community and major lobbying efforts, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) has implemented a temporary solution to the Highway 17A crossing over Highway 99.
On Tuesday, MOTI crews were out in the afternoon, painting lines and putting up signage indicating that southbound travel across the structure has been reinstated using the northbound HOV/transit lane.
The regular southbound lane will remain closed until permanent repairs can be made – repairs that, as we have reported extensively since the July 18th commercial truck crash into the overpass, will take months to complete.
While we are happy that this solution has been implemented, why did it take so long?
MOTI knew 24, maybe 36 hours after the July 18th crash that the damage was extensive and that it would take a long time for permanent repairs.
For 14 days MOTI sat on their hands and did nothing – all while driver frustrations mounted and the business community, already negatively impacted by the port strike, and other economic challenges, were seeing their businesses negatively impacted even further because residents could not get access to them.
Thanks to the lobbying efforts of Mayor George Harvie, Delta South MLA Ian Paton, Chamber executive director Jill McKnight and the chamber board, MOTI finally decided to listen and installed this temporary fix.
It took around 90 minutes we were told to implement this fix. Think about that? 90 minutes! Why again did it take 14 days for MOTI to do this?
I’ll be waiting for an answer to this question from Minister Rob Fleming.