Seventh lane now open on Alex Fraser Bridge

Four lanes heading southbound, three heading northbound for now

The seventh lane on the Alex Fraser Bridge is now open, but the counter-flow operation won’t be implemented until this fall, the provincial government says.

In a release from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Saturday (Sept. 14), it says the seventh lane has officially opened with four lanes heading southbound and three heading northbound.

Work is still continuing on the “intelligent transportation signs” for the counter-flow operation, according to the release. The ministry expects the zipper truck-barrier transfer system to be in place later this fall.

The “road zipper” uses a moveable barrier truck to shift the direction of the seventh lane.

A video posted by the ministry says operator training is happening now in preparation for the launch of the counter-flow lane.

The moveable barrier system will allow four lanes northbound and three southbound during the morning rush hour, and four lanes southbound the rest of the time.

The ministry previously said the seventh lane was expected to open by the end of August.

READ ALSO: Seventh lane on Alex Fraser Bridge to open by end of August, July 26, 2019

READ ALSO: Nightly lane closures return to Alex Fraser Bridge, Aug. 6, 2019

Throughout the summer, there have been nightly lane closures on the bridge for crews to reconfigure and paint the lanes to make room for the additional seventh lane.

Adding the extra lane requires narrowing the existing six lanes by about six inches and eliminating the shoulders. As a result, the speed limit has been lowered to 70 km/h to help people merge effectively and move safely across the bridge.

An average of 119,000 vehicles cross the Alex Fraser Bridge everyday, according to the ministry, with drivers experiencing lines more than three kilometres long during rush hour.

Once the counter-flow system is operational, the ministry expects drivers crossing the bridge will save 12 to 16 minutes during the southbound afternoon rush and about six minutes during the northbound morning rush.

The $70-million project, first announced on January 19, 2017, is being partially funded by the federal government — to the tune of $33,965,000 — through the provincial-territorial infrastructure component of its New Building Canada Fund. The province is picking up the tab for the remaining $36,125,000.

Also included in the bridge improvement project are 13 dynamic message signs placed strategically around Metro Vancouver to advise motorists in real time of delays on the four major Fraser River crossings: the Alex Fraser, Port Mann and Pattullo bridges and the George Massey Tunnel.

– with files from James Smith

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

Just Posted

Surrey council to consider a $150 FOI fee for attendance requests at city facilities

This is expected to come before council during tonight’s council meeting, on Monday July 13.

Heritage rail to remain closed for both July and August

Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society may open Cloverdale Station in September

Delta launches online engagement portal

“Let’s Talk Delta” offers variety of feedback methods including surveys, polls, forums and Q&A boards

Story of ‘A Mother’s Journey to Adoption’ told in book by first-time Surrey author

In the 1990s, Raj Arneja and husband Gurpreet adopted two children in India

Proposed White Rock development a ‘nightmare’ for Elm Street neighbours

Density, traffic, loss of views among chief concerns of residents

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

COVID-19 exposure on Vancouver flight

The Air Canada 8421 flight travelled from Kelowna to Vancouver on July 6

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Chilliwack

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

VIDEO: Former Abbotsford resident giving away $1,000

Langley native Alex Johnson creates elaborate treasure hunt to give away cash

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

UPDATE: Abbotsford shooting victim was alleged ‘crime boss,’ according to court documents

Jazzy Sran, 43, was believed to have been smuggling cocaine across the border

Most Read