Highway 1 widening project delayed, costs continue to climb

The cost of the Highway 1 widening project in B.C.’s Fraser Valley is climbing, and with it, come substantial delays.

According to a new sign that sits along the highway, the project will now cost an extra $140 million and won’t be complete until 2026.

This is in addition to the previously approved budget of $2.34 billion for widening work on this stretch of the highway, between 264 Street and Mount Lehman Road.

Transportation Minister Rob Fleming attributes the delays to soil and geotechnical issues. He adds there is a lot to complete within the project, including adding designated transit lanes.

“We’re getting a lot out of this highway, especially for the commercial trucking community,” Fleming said. “Better rest stops… brand new interchanges that will allow for more housing, mixed-use development, industrial land strategies and things that bring economic benefits to it.”

The project’s goal is to relieve traffic congestion and accomodate sustainable transportation options in the valley.

The province says a new HOV lane will be one of several upgrades made to the highway, which is currently only two lanes in both directions through this stretch.

The B.C. government says more than 80,000 drivers use Highway 1 between Langley and Abbotsford, and through the Sumas Prairie and Chilliwack, daily. It adds more than $65 billion worth of goods is transported on this stretch each year.

With files from David Nadalini

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