An Election Is Coming – An Election Is Coming.
Yes sir, an election is coming and the government is going to spend $70 million dollars to get your vote.
The problem is that the Alex Fraser Bridge sees peak hour congestion in both directions!
Obviously Transportation Minister has not bothered to travel the bridge in peak hours as well, he seems to have snoozed through is math classes as it is just not the Alex Fraser Bridge that has congestion issues, the entire Hwy. 99 and 91A/Richmond connector and Queensborough bridge are heavily congested all through the day and this hair brained scheme will be a complete traffic fiasco! More road space just attracts more cars and more cars add to congestion!
Memo to Todd Stone: Do not make transportation decisions via You Tube, rather hire real experts and do what they say not what you think might get the Liberals reelected.
Memo to Delta Mayor Jackson: Retire now with some dignity (or what you have left of it) as you are well past you “Best before date”.
The Alex Fraser Bridge will have something in common with San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge after a lane is added to ease congestion.
Federal and provincial officials announced on Thursday that the span across the Fraser River on Highway 91 between Delta and New Westminster will get an additional lane that will be used as a counter flow with the direction of travel changing between morning and afternoon rush hours.
“By reconfiguring the Alex Fraser Bridge to seven lanes, we’re able to improve traffic capacity significantly and improve the travel time for commuters and for goods movement,” said Todd Stone, B.C.’s transportation minister. “This is especially important during morning and afternoon peak periods when traffic is the heaviest.”
To make the most of the new lane, a moveable barrier will be used, similar to one added two years ago to the Golden Gate Bridge, said Stone.
It consists of steel barriers filled with concrete that are shifted from one side of the lane to the other, like a zipper, by a special vehicle.
According to news reports, the Golden Gate barrier has been a success other than the side effect of more drivers speeding on the bridge. Stone said the posted speed limit on the Alex Fraser will be reduced to 70 km/h from 90 km/h once the new lane is ready.
The seventh lane will normally be a southbound lane but will be turned into a northbound lane during the morning rush by moving the barrier.
The new lane will be created by reducing the width of the six existing lanes and removing the shoulders. The lanes will still be a bit wider than those on the Oak Street and Ironworkers Memorial bridges. The ministry expects some delays as the Alex Fraser is reconfigured, but will get as much of the work as possible done in off-peak hours.
The $70-million project includes adding up to 13 electronic signs at “key locations” on highways throughout the Lower Mainland to provide up-to-date information about delays on the four Fraser River crossings.
The ministry proposes to place three signs along Highway 1, five signs along Highway 17 and three signs on Highway 10, and signs on Marine Way and Knight Street. The specific locations for the signs are being finalized.
“There are a lot of vehicles on the road and only four Fraser River crossings, so if there’s a faster route across the river on any given day we want commuters to know where that fastest crossing is,” said Stone.
More than 119,000 vehicles use the bridge daily with half-hour waits and lines more than three kilometres long in rush hour.
“The length of rush hour queues is frustrating, to say the least,” said Stone. “That’s a lot of idling. That’s a lot of wasted time.”
Delta Mayor Lois Jackson said it took her two hours to get to Burnaby from Delta on Wednesday. She believes the new lane will deal with some of the congestion, but will be a stopgap until a new bridge is built to replace the George Massey tunnel.
“We’re really, really happy,” she said. “It’s going to help out a lot of people until we get these construction projects completed.”
The new bridge lane is expected to reduce the morning commute by about six minutes and the afternoon commute by 12 to 16 minutes.
The federal government is putting up almost $34 million and the province just over $36 million.
Stone said the additional lane go to tender this spring and construction will begin as soon as a contractor is chosen. It is expected to be complete in spring 2018. The information signs should be ready by the fall.
A new interchange is also being built at Highway 91 and 72nd Avenue, about six kilometres south of the bridge. Construction is already under way on the $30-million interchange and should be finished by the end of this year.