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Encampment at Abbotsford’s Bradner rest area displaced for construction

Rest area to close this summer; Ministry of Transportation will offer support

The encampment at the Bradner rest stop in Abbotsford off Highway 1 will be displaced when highway construction begins this summer.

The rest area is being reconfigured as part of improvements that include 3.9 kilometres of widening to add a high-occupancy vehicle and electric-vehicle lane in each direction, and replacement of the Bradner Road crossing.

The rest area will be closed to the public while improvements are made.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has said it will work with the Ministry of Housing and other agencies to ensure supports are offered to the long-time residents of the area. The rest stop will reopen after construction is completed, with no firm date being given.

The province, through BC Housing, is funding nearly 200 shelter spaces in Abbotsford. These include 50 spaces across two extreme-weather response shelters. The ministry said BC Housing has additional funding available to open more spaces if suitable locations can be established.

Work is nearly complete on the temporary shelter at Lonzo Road where a previous encampment was. Once open, it will provide 50 new shelter spaces.

RELATED: Lonzo Road encampment in Abbotsford to be cleared out and new shelter built

RELATED: Proposal seeks to expand Bradner rest area on Highway 1 in Abbotsford

Cole Road rest area is also an area with long-term residents, with the possibility of those from Bradner rest area moving there during construction. The Ministry of Transportation said new shelter spaces in Abbotsford will be made aware to individuals living at known encampments.

The government is also establishing Belonging in B.C., a plan to prevent and reduce homelessness. The plan adds supportive housing units and complex-care spaces, and creates regional response teams to respond to encampments and better support people across the province.

The project is part of a phased approach through the Fraser Valley Highway 1 Corridor Improvement Program. Bradner rest area is within the 3A section, the third of five phases in the project.

To learn more about the project, visit gov.bc.ca/fraser-valley-highway1.

READ: Five Abbotsford projects receive $1.8M in Reaching Home funding



About the Author: Ryleigh Mulvihill

I have been a multimedia journalist with The Abbotsford News since February of 2024.
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