Local politicians marked the opening of the new interchange.

Local politicians marked the opening of the new interchange.

Hwy 99 interchange opens

Dignitaries laud benefit of ‘fish-passable’ project

When most people think about highway and overpass construction, the ability of fish to swim up or downstream usually doesn’t enter the picture.

But a new six-lane overpass and interchange at 16 Avenue and Highway 99 does more than facilitate human transportation in South Surrey, according to Jay Porter, senior project manager for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s South Coast Region – it’s also “fish-passable” as well.

Porter was present for the hastily-called official opening of the $24-million freeway interchange last Wednesday, where local and regional politicians made much of the new structure’s ability to accommodate growing cross-border travel and reduce traffic congestion by providing on- and off-ramps to Highway 99.

The new interchange also features signalized crossings for pedestrians and cyclists, and wider sidewalks, they added.

But in a side-note – following speeches by Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Stephanie Cadieux, Surrey-Tynehead MLA Amrik Virk, Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and TransLink board member Barry Forbes – Porter acknowledged it was a point of pride that the two-year project has helped fish habitat.

“We’ve done some really good environmental work here,” he told Peace Arch News while discussing the replacement of the original two-lane overpass.

“The interchange is now fish-passable. Before, there used to be steel culverts under the highway for Carlson Creek, but the outlets were higher than the creek bed.”

Construction of the new overpass and installation of sound baffles included concrete box culverts with a gravel and rock bed, Porter said.

“This allows the fish to get through and use the habitat,” he said, adding that city work on 14 Avenue will rectify culverts there to make the stream fish passable.

“It will open up a whole area for fish habitat.”

After a consultation process to resolve access issues raised by local residents in 2012, first phase of construction work started with demolition of the old overpass on April 12 last year.

The new bridge was completed and opened at the end of August 2013, starting the second phase, which included noise barriers and widening of 16 Avenue east of Highway 99, in addition to freeway access.

Also attending the opening – announced only the day before – were White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin and Coun. Bill Lawrence and South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce executive director Cliff Annable. Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg, whose riding is home to the interchange, was unable to attend.

Cadieux – representing Transport Minister Todd Stone – said the project is expected to reduce congestion regionally.

“We’ve all seen significant growth in this area in the last few years, and in order to see that we’re ready for future growth (the project has been) a high priority for residents and businesses of White Rock, Surrey and Langley,” she said.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CBSA seized 64 bricks of suspected cocaine at a border crossing in the Pacific Highway District. (CBSA photo)
$3.5 million worth of suspected cocaine bound for Canada seized in Pacific Highway District

Tractor-trailer hauling personal care products included 64 bricks of suspected coke

A bowl from Obey Poke, part of Joseph Richard Group’s Meal Ticket Brands launch in 2019. The program is now known as Canteen: A Virtual Food Court, at wearethecanteen.ca. (file/submitted photo)
On #TakeoutDay, Surrey restaurants urge direct meal orders, not second-party delivery

Dowtown Surrey BIA says ‘we can help support restaurants that already have a lot on their plates’

Vintage scrapbooks gave way to Instagram and Facebook. (Photo: Ursula Maxwell-Lewis)
COLUMN: Prince Philip just got on with it—to our surprise

Ursula Maxwell-Lewis reflects on the passing Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Parliament Hill is shown in Ottawa on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. The Trudeau government has agreed with the Senate that Canadians suffering solely from grievous and irremediable mental illnesses should be entitled to receive medical assistance in dying — but not for another two years. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick photo)
Self-advocates ‘sad, scared, angry’ over revisions to assisted-death legislation

Bill C-7 was expanded to include access to medically assisted death for non-terminal conditions

The South Point Exchange Wendy’s location was ordered closed for 10 days due to COVID-19. The closure took effect on April 9, 2021. (Google Streetview screenshot)
COVID-19 prompts 10-day closure of South Surrey fast-food restaurant

Fraser Health confirms order for South Point Wendy’s was issued April 9

(Vancouver Police Department)
8 people arrested after anti-pipeline protestors chain themselves to Vancouver buildings

Cst. Tania Visintin said demonstrators caused ‘a serious safety hazard’ for hours Wednesday

Jamie Coutts recorded a man following her around downtown Vancouver for a half-hour on Wednesday, March 18. (Instagram screenshot/Iammjammbamm)
Man charged in alleged high-profile Vancouver stalking case that went viral online

Man faces five other charges including criminal harassment and assault with a weapon

A new Lower Mainland study will examine feline COVID-19 transmission using data gathered from up to 40 cats living with newly infected adults. (Pixabay)
CDC conducting mobile kitty COVID tests outside of Lower Mainland homes

Researchers are probing whether humans can transmit the coronavirus to household pets

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A sea lion swims past the window of an empty viewing area Vancouver Aquarium is pictured Thursday, September 10, 2020. The Vancouver Aquarium has had to close its doors to the public due to the lack of visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
U.S.-based theme park company buys Vancouver Aquarium

Aquarium had to shut its doors in September due to COVID pandemic

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

A deep cut on a humpback whale is shown in this recent handout photo in the Vancouver area. A conservation organization is warning boaters to be extra careful to prevent further harm to an injured humpback whale swimming in the Vancouver area. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Ocean Wise, Vanessa Prigollini *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Boaters urged to use caution around hurt humpback off Vancouver

Ocean Wise says watchers first noticed the wound 3 days ago and believe it was caused by a vessel strike

Most Read