Considered by some to be one of the most dangerous intersections in South Surrey, Highway 15 (176 Street) and 40 Avenue is to receive safety-related improvements.
Calls were made to upgrade the intersection with enhanced safety measures after a two-vehicle collision killed a young man and left another person injured in September 2019.
A few months later, another major collision occurred at the intersection, which sent two people to hospital.
Following the fatal crash, dozens of people, including Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux, called for changes to the intersection.
Cadieux, who alerted Peace Arch News of the upcoming safety upgrades, said she wrote to the Ministry of Transportation shortly after the tragedy and had been periodically following up.
Recently, Cadieux said, she was informed that the intersection was to receive safety upgrades and that construction is to begin this fall.
Although she didn’t have specifics about the project, Cadieux said it’s likely that a barrier will be built to block east- and west-bound traffic from turning left onto 176 Street. She suspects the barrier will also block east and west through traffic, but allow motorists travelling on Highway 15 to turn off onto 40 Avenue.
“That was good news,” Cadieux said. “I don’t have any great details from the ministry of what it’s going to be. But I know what they were looking at before was something similar to the other end, at 152 Street, where there’s left turns allowed off the highway, but not onto the highway.”
Cadieux said the anticipated upgrades are a reasonable solution.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure confirmed to PAN via email Tuesday that it’s currently working on designs to improve safety at the Highway 15 and 40 Avenue intersection.
A representative of the ministry said costs are still to be determined, but the project will be funded by the province.
“The ministry is looking for improvements to be completed by spring 2021,” the statement said.
Including turning lanes, motorists on 40 Avenue must drive across six lanes of traffic to cross Highway 15, where the speed-limit is 80km/h.
It was once a relatively safe intersection, however, that changed as the South Surrey population grew, Cadieux said.
“With the volumes changing on 176 and the number of people using that as a cut-through or short-cut, I don’t think it was keeping up. I saw significant volume changes over the time that I lived in the area and certainly witnessed a number of close calls there as well.”
According to statistics from ICBC, from 2013-2017 there were 63 crashes at 40 Avenue and Highway 15. About half of these resulted in death or injury.