A key piece in the project to create a new Hwy. 99/16 Avenue interchange – demolition of the existing overpass – was completed on the weekend.
And it all went without a hitch, according to Jay Porter, senior project manager for the Ministry of Transportation’s South Coast Region.
“I think it went very smoothly. The community seemed quite happy with it – we haven’t had any complaints,” he said.
The demolition process – including jack hammering of the deck and ripping down of girders with backhoes – began on Friday night at 7 p.m., he said, and was complete by Sunday morning.
During that time, Highway 99 traffic was kept to one lane in each direction.
“Overall traffic flowed well, without any significant backups,” Porter said.
Following rubble cleanup, all four lanes of the freeway were reopened by 5 a.m. Monday morning.
Closure of 16 Avenue, on either side of the planned interchange, came into effect April 1, and that section of 16 Avenue will not be open to traffic until at least the end of August.
Truck traffic is being diverted to 8 Avenue, resulting in higher traffic volumes on both 8 and 24 Avenues, plus King George Boulevard and 176 Street, for the five months required for completion of Phase 1 of the project.
The first phase includes demolition of the existing overpass and construction of a new six-lane overpass, plus widening of 16 Avenue to four lanes between King George Boulevard and Highway 99.
Four on- and off-ramps and noise barriers will be part of Phase 2, which is expected to be complete by October 2014.