Opening of a new outlet mall causes major traffic problems at YVR

WATCH: How can the opening of a new shopping mall cause problems for travellers? When the mall is at Vancouver International Airport. Nadia Stewart report.

Significant traffic problems for passengers trying to make their flights at YVR were caused by a shopping frenzy at a newly opened mall.

People lined up early, waiting for the 10 a.m. opening of the new McArthurGlen Designer Outlet near the Vancouver Airport.

But the crush of shoppers created such a traffic nightmare along Grant McConachie Way that people trying to get to YVR were stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Darrell Patton, Global News
Darrell Patton, Global News
Darrell Patton, Global News
Darrell Patton, Global News
Darrell Patton, Global News

Airport officials say they were anticipating the rush and worked with airlines to make sure they were aware there would be some delays today.

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VP of Operations and Information Technology at YVR Steve Hankinson says they had a comprehensive plan in place.

“We will continue to encourage everyone to take the Canada Line as the best means by which to get to the designer outlet centre and if you are driving, to give yourself a little bit more time given the interest,” says Hankinson.

YVR officials are also reminding people to follow directions from RCMP and flaggers at all times and to stay in the left lane on Grant McConachie Way if they are going to the airport. Drivers going to the mall are advised to stay right.

The new outlet mall, located on YVR’s Sea Island next to Canada Line’s Templeton Station, was designed as a luxury shopping destination and offers 376,000 square feet of retail space.

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Phase one of the project will feature 600 brands, with an additional 400 brands arriving later.

This morning, there has been some mid-line cutting in among customers. Security and additional barricades had to be put in place to corral the hordes of shoppers.

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