A decade ago, the provincial government launched the Highway 1/Port Mann expansion program. The original version of the program called for an interchange at 216th Street. The eight lanes of Highway 1 would reduce to six lanes at 200th Street. At 216th Street, the lanes would be reduced to four.
Due to the overall cost of the Highway 1/Port Mann expansion project, the 216th Street interchange construction was deferred. Last year the federal and provincial governments, along with the Township of Langley, announced that they would be spending $59 million to finally build the 216th Street interchange, and widen Highway 1. The feds and province contributed $23.3 million each while the Township put in $14.3 million.
To put that number into perspective, building the Aldergrove Community Centre with an indoor pool would cost $35.5 million.
The provincial government unveiled the design of the 216th Street Interchange and expansion of Highway 1 late last week as shown below.
|Highway 1 widening and 216th Street project overview. Select image to enlarge.|
|216th Street overpass details. Select image to enlarge.|
- Complete extensions of HOV ramps to and from 202nd Street
- Environmental upgrade at Yorkson Creek
- New north side noise wall built in Ministry right-of-way
- New general purpose lane eastbound and westbound on Highway 1 between 202nd and 216th Street (Total 4.0 km)
- New south side noise wall built in Ministry right-of-way
- New full movement, four-lane interchange at 216th Street with left turn lanes that provide access onto eastbound and westbound Highway 1
- New pedestrian and cycling access across the 216th Street interchange overpass
- Environmental upgrade at Guy Creek
Similar to the 202nd Street underpass, the province is proposing to install a 3.0 metre wide sidewalk to be used by people walking and cycling on the east side of the overpass. The west side of the overpass will have a 1.8 metre wide sidewalk and a 1.8 meter wide shoulder bike lane.
I’m not a fan of unprotected shoulder bike lanes, as they don’t provide the safety required for people of all ages and abilities to feel comfortable cycling. Have protected cycling and walking infrastructure on both sides of the overpass would be ideal.
Building freeway projects are extremely expensive, and encourage more people to drive. This project will not reduce congestion along 200th Street or 208th Street, but over time will support the creation of congestion along 216th Street.
You can submit your feedback on this project at the Ministry of Transportation website. Your feedback must be received by April 21st.