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

Surrey’s newest task force aims to find ‘innovative’ ways to bring in revenue

McCallum says city’s revenue sources shouldn’t ‘completely rely on the taxpayer all the time’

White Rock BNSF train whistles to be silenced by end of month

Whistle will sound if people or animals are on the track

White Rock RCMP tells public to yield to pedestrians at marked crosswalks

Police force received a number of complaints about crosswalk safety

No Surrey Knights or White Rock Whalers on league all-star team

PJHL squad will battle Vancouver Island league standouts in Delta on Jan. 26

Calling a snow day – or not – is a big decision for Surrey public schools

There’s much to consider before cancelling classes for 73,948 Surrey students

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Special prosecutor to review Cranbrook toddler drowning case

Evidence disclosure at issue in the case of a woman sentenced for criminal negligence causing death

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

10 B.C. cities break temperature records in winter storm

Quesnel dipped to -41.9 C, breaking a record from 1916

Vancouver Island child struck, pinned under SUV while sledding

Boy suffers serious injuries, no charges laid in incident

VIDEO: Lower Mainland principal makes ‘Moana’-themed snow day music video

Kendra Simonetto parodied “How Far I’ll Go” to share weather updates with her students

Unprepared for chemistry test, B.C. student begs superintendent to call another snow day

The student from West Vancouver promised he would study more, but was distracted by skiing and hot chocolate

Over 16,000 people nabbed by RCMP between border crossings in 2019

In 2019, 63,830 claims were filed, up from 55,040 in 2018

Most Read

l -->