Seventh lane taking shape on Alex Fraser Bridge

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    Photo: youtube.com

    DELTA: Crews have adjusted the northbound lanes on the Alex Fraser Bridge to create room for a new additional lane, which will be ready for traffic later this summer.

    Drivers will notice the northbound lanes have shifted slightly to make space for the new lane. Adding an extra lane requires a slight narrowing of the existing six lanes 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.

    In the coming weeks, crews will reconfigure the southbound lanes and paint permanent lane lines. By the end of August 2019, the ministry expects the moveable barrier will be installed and seven lanes will be open to traffic – four lanes southbound and three lanes northbound.

    The seventh lane will add capacity and help ease traffic congestion on the corridor, especially during the afternoon peak period.

    Zipper truck operators, who have been training extensively within the maintenance yard, will begin practising transferring the barrier from lane to lane on the bridge deck at night, outside of peak hours. The final step involves installing and testing the intelligent transportation system before the counter-flow system (with the zipper truck in operation) goes live later this year.

    Once the counter-flow system is in operation on the Alex Fraser Bridge, people can expect time savings of 12 to 16 minutes during the southbound afternoon rush and about six minutes during the northbound morning rush.

    Quick Facts:

    * 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.

    * 119,000 vehicles cross the Alex Fraser Bridge every day.