The provincial government says traffic will be free-flowing on the Trans-Canada Highway at the McKenzie Interchange on Thursday.
According to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, drives going north or south on the Trans-Canada Highway will no longer have to wait at traffic lights at the McKenzie Avenue intersection. Instead, they will travel along the route using the new highway alignment that has been built under the McKenzie/Admirals bridge.
“We are working closely with our partners to build modern highway infrastructure that supports economic growth, connects communities and reduces carbon emissions,” Catherine McKenna, the federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, said in a statement. “With the traffic lights now removed on Highway 1, drivers will spend less time idling in traffic and more time getting where they need to go, helping improve the commute and keep businesses competitive.”
Drivers travelling south on Highway 1 will stay in the left lanes to remain on the highway. To access McKenzie Avenue and Admirals Road, southbound drivers will exit to the right. This configuration is the same as the nearby Helmcken Road interchange and will be in place until the loop ramp is completed in 2020.
“The removal of the traffic lights from the highway at McKenzie Avenue is a big step in the project, and great news for the thousands of people who rely on Highway 1 each day,” Claire Trevena, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, said in a statement.
“There is still a lot of construction left to do, and I thank drivers, transit users, cyclists and area residents for their patience as we work to complete this important project.”
The ministry said commuters will start to save time but the dedicated transit lanes are still to be constructed and the construction zone speed limit is in effect.
The total estimated cost of the Highway 1 Admirals Road/McKenzie interchange is $96 million, with the Government of Canada contributing over $32.6 million under the New Building Canada Fund’s Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component – National and Regional Projects and the Government of British Columbia funding the remaining $63.35 million. In June, the provincial government said the $96 million was $11 million over budget.
The extra costs were attributed to design modifications to the centre pier due to “variable rock conditions, additional environmental management, and schedule delays due to winter weather and efforts to lessen traffic and noise impacts.”