TRAFFIC SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS
The PMH1 Project has been designed to address some of the safety deficiencies of the current highway, which, built in the 1960s, was not designed to accommodate the growth in Metro Vancouver’s population and employment. The Project includes:
- Safety improvements at some of the region’s most challenging interchanges, like the Willingdon Interchange, which is considered a top crash location in British Columbia.
- Longer merge lanes at interchanges to make entering and exiting the highway safer and more efficient.
- Re-grading and realigning the roadway to improve sightlines.
- Improved safety and traffic flow on the new bridge by separating local traffic between Coquitlam and Surrey from through-traffic travelling along the Highway 1 corridor.
SAFETY DURING CONSTRUCTION
The Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project is a significant infrastructure project, including construction of a new 10-lane bridge over the Fraser River as well as 15 new structures in the Cape Horn area alone. Highway 1 Lane closures will only occur at night to minimize effects and maximize route predictability for the travelling public as daytime delays on Highway 1 have ripple effects throughout Metro Vancouver. Visual screens attached and mounted to the top of concrete barriers are used extensively throughout the corridor to minimize vehicle headlight and construction lighting glare at night, providing safety to motorists and workers. During the day, these screens support safety by minimizing potential visual distractions for the travelling public.
Construction Speed Zones
Safety is a key priority of the PMH1 Project. The primary focus will be to keep traffic on Highway 1 moving safely and efficiently while construction occurs. To do this, the Highway 1 project corridor is a designated construction zone. The construction speeds are as follows:
- 70 km/h - between the Cassiar Tunnel in Vancouver and Grandview Highway in Burnaby
- 80 km/h - between Grandview Highway in Burnaby and 208 Street in Langley
- Temporary 70 km/h - Highway 1 Westbound at the Cape Horn Interchange on the west side of the bridge.
- The posted speed limit between 208 Street - 216 Street will remain 100 km/h until construction begins in that area.
Additional speed signs and electronic speed reader boards have been installed and drivers are reminded that fines double in construction zones. Please use caution when travelling in this corridor.
Temporary Changes to the HOV Regulations
Changes have been made to the HOV-lane regulations. As part of improving traffic flow and reducing delays related to construction, High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on Highway 1 will be open to all traffic between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily. This temporary adjustment applies to HOV lanes between Grandview Highway and the Port Mann Bridge (both east and westbound) for the balance of construction.
This HOV schedule adjustment is in place to minimize delays during nighttime lane closures, which are required for the widening of Highway 1 and rebuilding of several overpass and interchange structures.
Safety Training for Crews
The prime contractor and subcontractors on the Port Mann/Highway 1 Project put public and worker safety as its highest priority. Workers undergo rigorous safety training before ever stepping foot on the project site. Ongoing safety training, education and refresher courses are mandatory for employees.
One of the key principles to creating a safe work site is to promote a positive safety culture where every individual acts as his or her own safety ambassador. The primary goal is that each work day is a safe one so that everyone returns home to their families in the same condition as when they arrived to work.
The Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project together with the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement office would like to ensure that commercial vehicle operators are aware that while the PMH1 Improvement Project is underway, there will be restrictions for truck loads that are wider than 3.8 metres. The Highway 1 corridor between the Cassiar Tunnel in Vancouver and 216 Street in Langley is considered an active construction zone, and commercial vehicle operators should be aware that in certain areas, Highway 1 lanes may be more narrow than usual.
Please click here for more information: Letter to Commercial Vehicle Users Regarding Lane Widths