Improving the traffic bottleneck at the Lickman Road has been extremely high on Chilliwack’s roadwork wishlist for years.
That wish came true as the Province came through with $2 million as part a $6.5 million project to improve the Lickman/Highway 1 interchange, in partnership with the City of Chilliwack.
A new roundabout at Yale and Luckakuck is the key focus of the project, along with widening of Lickman Road.
B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone was joined by Chilliwack MLA John Martin, who made the funding announcement, at a Rotary Luncheon at the Best Western Rainbow Country Inn in Chilliwack, emphasized the vital role the busy intersection plays in providing access to Chilliwack from the highway.
“We all know about the congestion, the frustration, the bottleneck, and the left-hand turns there. I’m happy to say after consultation with all of our partners, that starts to change today,” said Martin.
The MLA acknowledged that it’s not just inconvenient for drivers to be stuck in slow moving traffic, but “it’s time and money for the business sector.”
Minister Todd Stone reassured the Chilliwack Rotary crowd he had been hearing about the Lickman situation for quite a while, and that the local MLAs kept him in the loop.
“Residents have been asking for upgrades to this intersection for a long time and I look forward to a great partnership with the City of Chilliwack on this $6.5 million project,” Stone said. “Highway safety upgrades are a key priority of B.C. on the Move, our 10-year transportation plan and the improvements planned for this interchange will address safety and mobility concerns on this important route into Chilliwack.”
Project costs will be shared between the Province and the City of
Chilliwack with the province’s $2 million share going to improving highway ramps and the overpass, while the city covers the balance.
Mayor Sharon Gaetz was delighted to hear the news, as she prepared to head to the UBCM conference on Vancouver Island.
“This interchange suffers from daily congestion delays and growing safety challenges. The planned improvements will be welcome by drivers of passenger vehicles and commercial freight vehicles alike.”
The focus of the work will be on removing left-turn movements at the eastbound ramp intersection and redirecting left-turns to the south through a new, two-lane roundabout at Yale Road and Luckakuck Way. Lickman will also be widened to four lanes between the southside interchange ramps, and Yale Road and Luckakuck Way.