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Overpass in Delta replaces traffic lights on Highway 91

Last Updated Aug 12, 2018 at 4:25 pm PDT

A BC government sketch of the 72nd Ave. overpass (Courtesy BC Gov't)
Summary

The $30 million upgrade is meant to remove the last traffic light on Highway 91

Delta's mayor says she's been waiting for this improvement for decades

DELTA (NEWS 1130) – You’ll no longer get stuck at the traffic light on Highway 91 just south of the Alex Fraser Bridge.

A new overpass for 72nd Avenue has finally opened.

Delta’s mayor has been asking for it since the Alex Fraser Bridge was built back in the 1980s.

“Probably a couple of years after the Alex Fraser opened, everybody realized that it had to be changed,” says Lois Jackson.

She says she’s thrilled, but is also surprised the province didn’t give her a heads up about Sunday’s opening.

“My goodness, we spent millions of dollars to upgrade the highway system. There was no notification whatsover that it was going to be open. Kind of unusual….”

Construction on the overpass started in fall of 2016.

At the time the overpass was announced, it was projected to cost $30 million – $20 million paid by the province, $10 by the federal government.

It’s not known if the overpass met budget goals. It was originally supposed to open in the winter of 2018. No government press release accompanied Sunday’s opening.

In 2016, when the project was launched, the province said the new interchange “will remove the last remaining signalized intersection for through traffic on Highway 91, decreasing congestion and overall travel times along the corridor.”

Drivers have mixed reaction to the change, according to posts on the North Delta Community Corner Facebook page.

“This looks like it’ll make traffic much better and cut down on the accidents! I know I really like travelling down Nordel now since they put the lights at the foot of the hill,” says Darine Fuller.

“Further thinking – Northbound traffic stopped at the light on 91 caused a gap to allow 72nd traffic to merge – now that gap will be gone so I think the line up on 72 will be worse. we’ll see,” says Wendy Gage.
Work is still underway on a new counter flow lane on the Alex Fraser, and improvements along 72nd Avenue.