Left-hand turn signal coming soon for frustrated motorists in Chilliwack

Traffic tie-ups at the bridge backed things up north to Promontory Road over the weekend which had people weighing in on social media

Some motorists stuck in traffic on the way to Cultus Lake were fuming over the weekend.

Traffic tie-ups at the Vedder Bridge backed things up to Keith Wilson Road in Chilliwack and beyond.

Last week a ruling by Worksafe BC prohibited the use of traffic control personnel at two spots near the Vedder Bridge, due to safety reasons.

Within a day or so, City of Chilliwack staff brainstormed an interim solution by installing a traffic light that could be manually controlled by staff on the weekends to help keep the heavy traffic moving.

“They managed to hand-craft a traffic control device with the equipment parts they had available, just in time for the weekend, but there was no left turn signal option, and they knew that would be necessary,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz. “It was done quickly, to get something in place and the part was ordered.”

Drivers trying to turn onto Chilliwack Lake Road from Vedder Road over the weekend created the congestion as they waited to turn, sometimes as far back as Promontory Road.

City staff have confirmed it won’t be possible to install a dedicated left turn lane, but the light can be modified.

The part that will effectively add a left turn option to the light signal was due to be installed later this week, said Gaetz.

“I cannot imagine what the weekend was like near the bridge, especially for anyone without air conditioning in the vehicle. I understand there were lineups and people were frustrated,” she said. “We can’t do anything about the ruling by Worksafe. We hope members of the public will be patient, and avoid the area if at all possible.”

People were quick to weigh in on social media about the new light, and the heavy traffic heading to Cultus in the absence of flaggers.

Sitel Ala complained the traffic to Cultus was backing up all the way to Promontory.

“The new light system is worse than ever. Way to go Chilliwack city. Awesome job.”

But Janet Turner said she expected city staff to fix things, like coming up with a left turning option.

“I’m quite certain after the first weekend with the light, they will look to tweak how it’s running/timed,” she posted. “I highly doubt they would just leave it.”

The turn signal part that city staff ordered to facilitate the left turns, came in on Monday, and should be installed and tested by later week.

Carol Kelly, an area resident for 48 years, noted traffic is congested in July and August since Cultus Lake has “always attracted tourists,” and that is not likely to be changing any time soon.

“The light will eventually help,” she offered. “The best way not to have a problem with it is don’t travel that way if you don’t like it.”

The new traffic light is expected to be in place until construction is completed on the new Vedder bridge and roundabout in 2018. Work is expected to begin on that project in 2016.

“We are so thankful that the Vedder Bridge replacement project received funding from all levels of government recently,” said Gaetz.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

twitter.com/chwkjourno

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Salvation Army is open for applications for their Christmas hamper program on Nov. 30, and applications are due by Dec. 12. (Chilliwack Progress file photo)
Christmas hamper application process starts in Chilliwack

Hampers available for individuals and families who apply before Dec. 12

The Abbotsford Police Department is investigating a shooting on Adair Avenue on Saturday night. (Photo by Dale Klippenstein)
Drive-by shooting in Abbotsford targeted home with young children, police say

Investigators believe home was mistakenly targeted by assailants

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
Abbotsford care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

Trustees Darrell Furgason (right) and Barry Neufeld at a January 2019 board meeting. (Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack trustee responds to teachers’ call for censure

Furgason: ‘Unions exist to make demands from an employer for their members’

Morning mist clears over the Hope Slough at Camp River Road on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Sunny skies in the forecast for Chilliwack and Abbotsford

Rain and wind expected Sunday night through Monday morning, then clear skies

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
Updated: Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(File photo)
Vancouver police warn of toxic drug supply after 7 people overdose at one party

Seven people between the ages of 25 to 42 were taken to hospital for further treatment.

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

Most Read