Chilliwack drivers have become used to finding gridlock at the Vedder Road/Chilliwack Lake Road intersection.
But better traffic flow is expected when the new $12.5 million Vedder Bridge is substantially completed by October 2017.
“We would like to thank the provincial and federal governments for contributing significant funding towards this important infrastructure improvement,” Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz said about the three-way split. “Our residents are eagerly anticipating the new Vedder Bridge and roundabout, which will improve traffic flow and increase safety for all users.”
Major construction on the two-lane bridge is set to begin in early October to replace the old bridge.
It is a long-awaited change.
Laurie Throness, MLA for Chilliwack-Hope, called the bridge “an important piece of transportation infrastructure” for the community.
“The new Vedder Bridge, with the inclusion of multi-use pathways, will improve access to the Vedder/Rotary Trail for area residents, and its wider design, along with associated intersection improvements, will improve traffic flow in the area and make it safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.”
Now partially closed, the recently expanded parking lot of the Vedder Rotary Trail will move to full closure once construction starts in about a month, with access from Petawawa Road. See more at www.chilliwack.com, Vedder Bridge Replacement Project page will have frequent updates in the coming year.
Building of the new wider bridge will be ongoing beside the existing bridge, “so traffic will be minimally affected” during the construction, according to the press release about construction.
The two-lane structure will feature a steel arch design, with shoulders and multi-use pathways to make it safer to cross for pedestrians and cyclists. Both the north and south approaches to the bridge are being redone.
A new single-lane roundabout is expected to “modernize” the intersection just before the bridge by improving traffic flow.
“Preliminary work, including the relocation of utilities, has already begun.”
The construction contract valued at $11.3 m went to Emil Anderson Construction, with prep work started in August.
It’s a three-way funded infrastructure project. The federal government is providing $4.1 million through the Small Communities Fund, and the Province of B.C is chipping in up to $4.1 million, with City of Chilliwack responsible for remaining costs. The total estimated cost for this project is $12,563,750.