JOC ARCHIVES

September 17, 2012

Massive interchange construction ramps up

The most comprehensive interchange reconstruction work in B.C. history is taking place in Coquitlam as the Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project nears completion.

“Reconstructing the Cape Horn Interchange is a megaproject within the Port Mann/Highway 1 megaproject, and a crucial part of the solution to our congestion problems,” said Mike Proudfoot, Transportation Investment Corp. CEO.

The Crown corporation was established under the Transportation Investment Act to implement the project.

“Over the coming weeks, drivers are going to see big changes as the project’s most technically challenging components come together in a hurry. When the new Cape Horn Interchange is open to traffic, drivers will be able to do in seconds what used to take them minutes.”

During September, construction crews will complete several new connections between the Cape Horn Interchange and the north end of the Port Mann Bridge.

This work involves the construction of 15 new ramps for the interchange, structures and direct connections. The changes in the traffic pattern at the Cape Horn Interchange will take place in stages.

To begin, Lougheed Highway eastbound was scheduled to be shifted to a new and final alignment south of Highway 1 on Sept. 16.

As a result, the three lanes of Highway 1 eastbound traffic will be transitioned on Sept. 18 from the old bridge onto the new Port Mann Bridge and a new overpass connecting westbound bridge traffic to Lougheed Highway eastbound will open on Sept. 19. The longest overpass in the Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project that connects Lougheed Highway westbound to Highway 1 eastbound will completed and opened on Sept 22-23.

During this and the following weekend, Highway 1 will be reduced to one lane in each direction for the construction and demolition of the old Cape Horn overpass.

The first and largest phase of this project, which includes opening eight lanes on the new bridge, widening the highway and rebuilding three interchanges between 160 Street in Surrey and the Cape Horn Interchange in Coquitlam, will be complete by this December.

The Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project is the largest transportation infrastructure project in B.C. history. It involves the widening Highway 1, upgrading interchanges, and improving access and safety from McGill Street in Vancouver to 216th Street in Langley, which is a distance of about 37 kilometres.

Tolls will cost $1.50 for passenger vehicles starting December 2012. Larger trucks will pay $4.50 per crossing. The lower fee will remain in effect until March 2013 if drivers sign up for an account and a windshield decal.

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