Vancouver Port Authority president and CEO Robin Silvester, Delta MP Carla Qualtrough, Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon and Delta Mayor George Harvie officially break ground on the latest batch of improvements to Highway 91 and Highway 17 on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. The improvements are part of the province’s $260-million Highway 91/17 and Deltaport Way Upgrade Project, which is partially funded by the federal government, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and the Tsawwassen First Nation. (James Smith photo)

Construction begins on Highway 91/17 improvements in Delta

Project includes new interchanges at Highway 17/Highway 91 Connector and at River Road/Highway 17

Construction is set to get underway on the latest batch of improvements to Highway 91 and Highway 17.

Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon was joined by Delta MP and federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough, Vancouver Port Authority president and CEO Robin Silvester and Delta Mayor George Harvie Friday afternoon (Feb. 14) to officially break ground on a number of safety and capacity enhancements to Highway 91, Highway 17 and the Highway 91 connector.

“We know people are frustrated with the traffic gridlock in this region, especially at peak times of the day. It’s a busy on-the-road network with lots of commercial vehicles, as well as commuters who are on their way to work or school,” Kahlon, speaking on behalf of Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena, said in a press release.

“Through this significant safety improvement project, we are working to solve these traffic headaches by creating better connections and faster, safer routes for everyone on the road.”

The Highway 91/17 and Deltaport Way Upgrade Project is a combination of improvements to existing Highway 91, Highway 17, Highway 91 Connector and Deltaport Way to improve travel safety and efficiency. (B.C. government photo)

The project is part of the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s $260-million Highway 91/17 and Deltaport Way Upgrade Project package. Following the procurement process for the design-build agreement, the project budget was increased from $245.2 million to $260.2 million to reflect a variety of factors including current market conditions, according to a ministry press release.

Funding for the project comes via the national infrastructure component of the federal government’s New Building Canada Fund, as well as the Province of British Columbia and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

“We are proud to be working closely with regional partners and municipalities in B.C. to get projects built that contribute to safety and improve people’s lives,” Qualtrough, speaking on behalf of Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, said in a press release.

“These important upgrades to Highway 91/17 will help keep commuter and commercial traffic moving safely and smoothly across Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. This is key to strengthening the local economy, easing traffic flows and creating jobs.”

The Tsawwassen First Nation also contributed $5.2 million to fund the 27B Avenue upgrades component of the project, which was completed in December 2019.

That component, which aimed to improve access to recently completed industrial and commercial developments in the area as well as to the Canadian Border Service Agency’s container examination facility, included a merge lane that improves access from 27B Avenue to Deltaport Way, as well as road widening and upgrades on 27B Avenue between Deltaport Way and 41B Street.

“Over the past decade, we have been pleased to work with the province to build important projects, such as the Highway 91/17 upgrade project, to improve the flow of goods throughout the region, while helping to reduce congestion for local communities,” Silvester said in a press release.

“The joint effort and support of all partners involved in this project will go a long way toward reducing bottlenecks and improving supply-chain efficiency, which will benefit our nation’s ability to grow our trade.”

Also included in the Highway 91/17 and Deltaport Way Upgrade Project are intersection improvements at Highway 17 at 80th Street in Tilbury — upgrading the connection from 80th Street to Highway 17 westbound to improve merging and reduce queuing on 80th.

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