DELTA, B.C. — After five years of construction, B.C.’s South Fraser Perimeter Road was opened to traffic in December, providing better access to Vancouver ports and helping de-congest the region’s roads.
“The SFPR will provide an efficient and convenient route for commercial traffic and commuters and tourists. It will actually connect every major crossing of the Fraser River, giving everyone who lives here a lot more choices,” said B.C.’s Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone.
The new four-lane highway connects all five major Fraser River crossings to improve transit times. It reaches 37 kilometres, from Deltaport Way in Southwest Delta to 176th Street in Surrey and is now known at Highway17. The old Highway 17 in Delta has become Highway 17A, the CBC reports.
The speed limit is 80 km/h and the province claims travel time between Hwy. 1 and the Tsawwassen ferry terminal is now less than 30 minutes, or half what it would take using Hwy. 10. Drivers could also travel from South Delta to Maple Ridge via the SFPR and the Golden Ears Bridge in about 30 minutes, the province claims.
What’s more, the new highway separates truck and residential traffic.
“The new route provides greater access to the Tilbury industrial area, taking commercial trucks off Highway 99 and River Road. This will make for safer, smoother travel for our residents throughout the community,” said Delta Mayor Lois E. Jackson.
Stone said the highway is a “game-changer” and is important to the province’s economic growth because it connects port and rail facilities to the U.S. border and the B.C. interior.
Not only that, but the provincial government estimates the highway will create 7,000 jobs in Delta and Surrey.
“The completion of the South Fraser Perimeter Road is good news for the Metro Vancouver region. It means a better road network and more capacity to transport goods to and from fast-growing markets throughout the Asia-Pacific region,” said Delta-Richmond East MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay in a written statement.
The federal government contributed $365 million toward the $658-million SFPR project.
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