January 27, 2017 8:20 pm
Updated: January 27, 2017 11:14 pm

Major highway improvements expected to ease North Vancouver bridge congestion

Ted Chernecki reports on how governments plan to get congestion relief on Highway 1 on the North Shore.

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North Vancouver commuters may soon see a reprieve to their traffic woes.

It’s almost a daily occurrence for Iron Workers’ Bridge traffic to be backed up 6 kilometres into North Vancouver by 3:30 p.m. on a weekday. Now years of public outcry for a fix have finally been met with a response.

All three levels of government announced a $60-million plan to clean up the bottleneck Lynn Creek corridor on Highway 1 leading toward the Iron Workers’ Bridge on Friday.

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The improvements, funded equally by the District of North Vancouver, the province of B.C. and the federal government, include a new two-lane bridge on each side of Lynn Creek Bridge, an eastbound on-ramp from Mountain Highway and a westbound connector lane from Mount Seymour Parkway to Mountain Highway.

Government officials at a press conference on Friday touted the plan as a virtual solution to traffic congestion on Highway 1 between Lonsdale Avenue and the Iron Workers’ Bridge. The heavily-used corridor saw a peak of 136,495 average daily trips in July 2016, up from 126,183 in July 2009.

But plan doesn’t embrace the idea of widening the highway from two lanes to three heading eastbound from the Lonsdale on-ramp, typically where traffic tends to build at rush hour.

In recent years, rush hour on the North Shore has reversed, with heavier traffic heading from North Vancouver to Vancouver, Burnaby and the Fraser Valley clogging up arteries toward the bridge by about 3 p.m. on weekdays.

Advocates of the plan say the upgrades will improve congestion by providing better flow for commuters looking to travel from one part of the North Shore to another without needing to use the current road infrastructure intended for bridge traffic.

The improvements are expected to be completed by 2021.

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© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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