Seventh lane now open on Alex Fraser Bridge

Four lanes heading southbound, three heading northbound for now

The seventh lane on the Alex Fraser Bridge is now open, but the counter-flow operation won’t be implemented until this fall, the provincial government says.

In a release from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Saturday (Sept. 14), it says the seventh lane has officially opened with four lanes heading southbound and three heading northbound.

Work is still continuing on the “intelligent transportation signs” for the counter-flow operation, according to the release. The ministry expects the zipper truck-barrier transfer system to be in place later this fall.

The “road zipper” uses a moveable barrier truck to shift the direction of the seventh lane.

A video posted by the ministry says operator training is happening now in preparation for the launch of the counter-flow lane.

The moveable barrier system will allow four lanes northbound and three southbound during the morning rush hour, and four lanes southbound the rest of the time.

The ministry previously said the seventh lane was expected to open by the end of August.

READ ALSO: Seventh lane on Alex Fraser Bridge to open by end of August, July 26, 2019

READ ALSO: Nightly lane closures return to Alex Fraser Bridge, Aug. 6, 2019

Throughout the summer, there have been nightly lane closures on the bridge for crews to reconfigure and paint the lanes to make room for the additional seventh lane.

Adding the extra lane requires narrowing the existing six lanes by about six inches and eliminating the shoulders. As a result, the speed limit has been lowered to 70 km/h to help people merge effectively and move safely across the bridge.

An average of 119,000 vehicles cross the Alex Fraser Bridge everyday, according to the ministry, with drivers experiencing lines more than three kilometres long during rush hour.

Once the counter-flow system is operational, the ministry expects drivers crossing the bridge will save 12 to 16 minutes during the southbound afternoon rush and about six minutes during the northbound morning rush.

The $70-million project, first announced on January 19, 2017, is being partially funded by the federal government — to the tune of $33,965,000 — through the provincial-territorial infrastructure component of its New Building Canada Fund. The province is picking up the tab for the remaining $36,125,000.

Also included in the bridge improvement project are 13 dynamic message signs placed strategically around Metro Vancouver to advise motorists in real time of delays on the four major Fraser River crossings: the Alex Fraser, Port Mann and Pattullo bridges and the George Massey Tunnel.

– with files from James Smith

Just Posted

GOWN UP to raise $10m for Surrey Memorial Hospital upgrades

The money will be used to upgrade 10 operating rooms, buy cutting-edge equipment and recruit more top-notch surgeons

UPDATED: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in US after ‘accidentally’ crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

Shoppers line up for Winners opening at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre

Popular retail store is second in South Surrey

Canucks’ Diwali Night game gives Surrey’s Heer the thrill of DJ-ing for his favourite team

‘It should be a good game with (Alexander) Ovechkin in town’ on Oct. 25, says Jovan Heer

UPDATE: RCMP shoot and kill ‘aggressive’ dog in South Surrey

Member of the public not seriously injured after dog bite

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

$100,000 reward for B.C. gangster extended to United States

Police belive fugitive Conor D’Monte may be in the Los Angeles area

Emily Carr University closed Sunday after fire causes some damage

The school is working with Vancouver police to assist their investigation into the fire

Alberta to join B.C.’s class-action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, distributors

B.C. government claims opioids were falsely marketed as less addictive than other pain meds

Most Read

l -->