The Highway 91/17 Upgrade Project reached the 50 per cent completion mark last week, and is on track for completion in spring 2023.
The project, which had its officially ground-breaking in February of 2020, part of the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s $260-million Highway 91/17 and Deltaport Way Upgrade Project package.
This phase of the project includes a number of safety and capacity enhancements such as better acceleration and merge lanes and new interchanges on Highway 91, Highway 17 and the Highway 91 Connector aimed at increasing highway efficiency and providing an easier commute for residents and commercial vehicles.
Included in the project are improvements to Highway 91 at the Nordel Interchange, upgrades to the Highway 91 Connector at the Nordel Way intersection, a new interchange at Highway 17 and the Highway 91 Connector in Sunbury, and a new interchange at River Road connecting to Highway 17.
According to a ministry press release, the first new structure of the project, the Highway 17/River Road overpass, will fully open in late September. When the overpass opens, the temporary lane shift on Highway 17 will cease, reverting traffic flow to its pre-project alignment.
Some components of the project have already opened this summer, including 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.
The full Highway 17/River Road interchange is scheduled to open later this fall, creating a more direct connection between Highway 17 and River Road.
In December 2020, a section of boardwalk in the Delta Nature Reserve that had to be removed and rebuilt to accommodate a new vehicle ramp at the Highway 91 and Nordel Way interchange was reopened to the public.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure removed a 186-metre stretch of the existing boardwalk, replacing it with a new 167-metre section located just east of the previous path.
The boardwalk realignment — which was planned in consultation with the City of Delta, Metro Vancouver and the Burns Bog Conservation Society — also improved accessibility to environmental features such as the hardhack meadow, and added four new viewing platforms to allow visitors to take a closer look at the diverse bog ecosystem.