New Highway 91 and 72 Avenue interchange in Delta opens

Aug 13 2018, 8:06 pm

Over the weekend, a new interchange opened on Highway 91 in Delta where the route intersects with 72 Avenue, effectively removing the last remaining signalized interchange intersection for through traffic on the highway corridor.

The new interchange is near the southern end of the Alex Fraser Bridge, which currently sees a volume of about 120,000 vehicles per day.

Increasing traffic from population growth has caused this particular intersection to be highly problematic for commuters.

Highway 91 72 Avenue interchange

Congestion at the Highway 91 and 72 Avenue old intersection interchange. (Government of BC)

Highway 91 72 Avenue interchange

Congestion at the Highway 91 and 72 Avenue old intersection interchange. (Government of BC / Google Maps)

When the project was being considered, the provincial government said the upgrade was necessary as congestion approaching the intersection in the morning stretches three kilometres on Highway 91 northbound and 1.5 kilometres on 72 Avenue. As well, the afternoon congestion approaching the intersection is about 1.5 km on Highway 91 northbound.

These delays are associated with the old intersection’s design of requiring northbound traffic to stop at the signal to accommodate southbound traffic turning left onto 72 Avenue.

Before

Highway 91 72 Avenue interchange

Highway 91 and 72 Avenue old intersection interchange. Looking northbound. (Google Maps)

After

Highway 91 72 Avenue interchange

Artistic rendering of the Highway 91 and 72 Avenue new interchange. Looking northbound. (Government of BC)

The new design for the interchange eliminates the intersection and replaces it with an overpass to allow Highway 91 traffic to pass through the area without interruption.

The project had a budget of $30 million, with $20 million provided by the provincial government and $10 million by the federal government. Construction began in 2016.

At the same time, construction on a new $70-million counterflow lane for the Alex Fraser Bridge to increase the crossing’s capacity is ongoing, with a targeted completion aimed for Summer 2019.

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