After years of construction, the new $1.26-billion, 40 km long, four-lane South Fraser Perimeter Road (Highway 17) opened yesterday and will strengthen the province’s economy and make travelling and commuting quicker and easier.
Image: UBC Geography
“The completion of the South Fraser Perimeter Road is good news for the Metro Vancouver region. It means a better road network and more capacity to transport goods to and from fast-growing markets throughout the Asia-Pacific region,” said Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Member of Parliament for Delta-Richmond East and Minister of National Revenue.
“This project demonstrates that when we work together with our partners through the Asia Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, we can develop projects that facilitate international trade and create jobs and economic growth in local communities across Canada.”
SFPR connects to all five major Fraser River crossings, which will save motorists time and offer more travel options. As an example, travel time between Highway 1 and the Tsawwassen ferry terminal is now less than 30 minutes, compared with travel times of double that using Highway 10.
“The SFPR is a key part of our commitment to expanding our markets and improving the safe and efficient movement of goods and people,” said Stone. “This new route is a game-changer for industry, commuters and tourists – it will cut commute times for families and make B.C. more competitive by connecting key port and rail facilities with access to borders, the Tsawwassen ferry terminal and the B.C. Interior.”
Completing the SFPR was a key goal in the province’s Pacific Gateway Transportation Strategy, which supports the ‘The BC Jobs Plan’ to expand markets for B.C. products and strengthen infrastructure to get goods to market, ensuring B.C is North America’s gateway for Asia Pacific trade.
The SFPR will generate economic and business opportunities and lead to 7,000 long-term jobs in Delta and Surrey through improved industrial development opportunities along the corridor. More than 4,000 jobs were created during construction.
“Our community will benefit hugely from the opening of the South Fraser Perimeter Road,” said Delta Mayor Lois E. Jackson. “The new route provides greater access to the Tilbury industrial area, taking commercial trucks off Highway 99 and River Road. This will make for safer, smoother travel for our residents throughout the community.
The SFPR provides an efficient and convenient transportation corridor, with connections to major trade gateways for commercial traffic. This new route will also separate commercial traffic from residential areas, improving community safety and the quality of life for families.
“The SFPR will allow goods to move more freely around the region by truck,” said Trace Acres, vice president, BC Trucking Association. “In addition to increasing the efficiency of the Gateway, it will help lower emissions by limiting the number of stops trucks have to make travelling between ports, ferries, businesses and borders.”
The Government of Canada, through the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, provided $365 million toward the corridor. The Government of B.C. contributed the remainder.
Highlights about the South Fraser Perimeter Road:
- The SFPR has 15 overpasses and three interchanges.
- More than 400,000 tonnes of asphalt was used on the entire project – enough to fill 63 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
- More than 75,000 trees and shrubs were planted.
- More than $100 million was spent on environmental and agricultural improvements, including:
- Upgrading an irrigation system to bring fresh water from the Fraser River to more than 6,000 hectares of farmland in Delta.
- Cleaning up portions of five landfills and converting one of them to useable, industrial land.
- Building more than 40 environmental areas, including 80 fish habitats, 25 wildlife crossings and one bumble bee habitat, to help berry farmers with pollination.
Time savings for motorists:
- Travel time between Highway 1 in Surrey and the Tsawwassen ferry terminal is now less than 30 minutes, compared with double or triple that time during rush hour using Highway 10.
- Travel from South Delta to Maple Ridge using the Golden Ears Bridge will take about 30 minutes, saving motorists from 30 minutes to one hour depending on the time of day.
Source/Featured Image: Government of BC