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British Columbia Highway 91

Highway 91 marker

Highway 91

Annacis Highway
Richmond Freeway
East-West Connector
Map
Highway 91 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Length23 km[1] (14 mi)
Existed1986–present
Major junctions
South end Hwy 99 in Delta
Major intersections Hwy 10 in Delta
Hwy 17 in Delta (via Hwy 91C)
Hwy 91A in Richmond
Knight Street in Richmond
West end Hwy 99/Alderbridge Way in Richmond
Location
CountryCanada
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Major citiesRichmond, Delta
Highway system
Hwy 77 Hwy 91A

Highway 91 is an alternative freeway route to Highway 99 through Delta, New Westminster and Richmond, British Columbia. The highway was built in two sections, the first section from Delta to East Richmond in 1986, and the second section across Richmond in 1989.

It was the highest numbered highway in British Columbia that is not derived from a continuation of a US highway, until the designation of Highway 118 in 2003.

Route description

Alex Fraser Bridge carries BC-91 over the Fraser River

The total distance covered by Highway 91 is 22 km (14 mi). Starting at its junction with Highway 99 in East Delta, the route travels north for 2 km (1¼ mi) to a junction with Highway 10, then north for 10 km (6 mi) through three interchanges, over the Alex Fraser Bridge onto Annacis Island, and through another interchange. Highway 91 then crosses the Annacis Channel bridge, ever so briefly passing through the very corner of New Westminster, and then enters Richmond, at which point it veers west. At the southern entrance to Highway 91, the road was formerly signed as Annacis Highway, however, that name is not commonly used.

In Richmond, where Highway 91 is officially termed the Richmond Freeway but also as the East-West Connector, the route travels west for 10 more km (6 mi), through a junction with Highway 91A and two more interchanges, until it terminates just past its Richmond junction with Highway 99 at Shell Road.[2]

History

Recent improvements

$10 million had been allocated to convert the existing seagull intersection at 72nd Avenue to an interchange; this junction was in 2009 the only at-grade intersection on Highway 91.[3] Upgrading this interchange would earn Highway 91 the status of a full freeway, but it was reported in the Surrey Leader in 2008 that work on this proposal had ground to a halt because of disagreements between the municipal and provincial governments over the type of interchange that would be in place. The allocated funding had since been diverted for other uses, and as of 2011 the province had no intention of building the interchange,[4] but in April 2013, International Trade Minister Ed Fast announced that the removal of the traffic signal at 72nd Avenue would be given the go-ahead.[5] On June 8, 2016, the BC government announced that the construction of a new interchange at 72nd Avenue, priced at $30 million, would commence in the fall, thereby removing the final traffic signals on Highway 91.[6][7][8] Construction commenced in late 2016. On August 12, 2018, the new interchange opened to remove the final traffic light on Highway 91.[9]

In early 2009, another interchange was agreed upon to be added to Highway 91 just south of the 'S' curve in Richmond, connecting Nelson Road to the highway. The interchange was opened on August 22, 2011.[10][11]

On January 19, 2017, announcement was made that a new seventh travel lane will be added on Alex Fraser Bridge by slightly narrowing the existing lanes and removing the shoulders.[12] A counterflow system with a movable barrier was added to help ease traffic during morning and afternoon rush hours. The new seventh lane opened to traffic on September 14, 2019,[13] with the moveable reversible zipper in operation on December 16, 2019.[14] As a result of narrower travel lanes, the maximum speed limit over the bridge was lowered from 90 km/h (56 mph) to 70 km/h (43 mph).[15]

Exit list

From south to north. The entire route is in Metro Vancouver.

Locationkm[1]miExit[16]DestinationsNotes
Delta0.000.00 Hwy 99 – USA border, Seattle, VancouverHwy 91 southern terminus; Hwy 99 exit 16
2.021.261 Hwy 10 east / Ladner Trunk Road west – Surrey, LangleyNo access from northbound Hwy 91 to westbound Ladner Trunk Road
4.903.04464th Avenue
6.534.06672nd Avenue
7.934.938 Hwy 91C to Hwy 17 / Hwy 1 (TCH) / Nordel Way (east) – Ferries, Victoria, NanaimoAccess to Hwy 17 via Hwy 91 Connector; Hwy 17 exit 23B
8.32–
10.85
5.17–
6.74
Alex Fraser Bridge over the South Arm Fraser River
11.046.8610Annacis Island (Cliveden Avenue)Southbound exit is via exit 11
Richmond11.827.3411 Hwy 91A north – New WestminsterDirectional signage changes from north-south to east-west
13.318.2713Westminster Highway
16.3310.1515Nelson RoadEastbound exit and Westbound entrance
20.8212.9421No. 6 RoadWestbound exit and Eastbound entrance
21.2213.1922Knight Street – VancouverAccess to Knight Street Northbound only
22.9114.2423 Hwy 99 – Ferries, Victoria, Nanaimo, Airport, VancouverVictoria and Nanaimo are via BC Ferries; Hwy 99 exit 37
Alderbridge Way (west) – Richmond City CentreHwy 91 Northern terminus; continuation West. At grade intersection.
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Highway 91 Connector

Highway 91 Connector
Highway 91C
Pseudo Route 914:3142 (E/B)
Pseudo Route 914:3143 (W/B)
Length:2.2 km (1.4 mi)
West end:Highway 17 Trumpet Interchange
Major
junctions:
Hwy 17
Hwy 91
East end:Nordel Way at BNSF overpass

Highway 91 Connector (Highway 91C) is a short 2.2 km (1.4 mi) unsigned highway connecting Highway 91 at Nordel Way and Highway 17 in Delta.[17] It formerly started at the BNSF Railway level crossing on 96 Street. Today, the route starts at a trumpet interchange with Highway 17, crosses over Highway 91 via twin overpasses, and ends at the BNSF overpass on Nordel Way.

From its opening, the route faced heavy congestion due to the presence of a truck scale and at-grade intersections. The Highway 17 and Highway 91C intersection saw several truck rollover accidents since its opening in 2013 and engineer's report revealed that trucks are susceptible to rollover when exceeding 26 km/h (16 mph) while turning from Highway 17 to Highway 91C.[18] The report recommended installation of truck rollover warning sign and an advisory speed limit of 20 km/h (12 mph) with the ultimate long-term solution to be an upgrade to grade-separated interchange.[18]

In 2017, the Province announced Highway 91C will be upgraded to a freeway standard as a part of $254 million project.[19] However, the project was partially downscaled and two at-grade intersections remain in the Highway 91/91C interchange. Traffic from southbound Highway 91 and westbound Nordel Way flows freely, while signals remain for traffic movements on the new southern overpass.

The grade separation work on Highway 91C started in 2020 and free-flow interchanges were constructed at Highway 17 and Nordel Way (west) with improved partially at-grade connections for Highway 91 ramps.[20] The project reached substantial completion by the end of November 2022[21] with remaining works extended up until May 31, 2023.[22][23]

Major intersections

From west to east. The entire route is in Metro Vancouver.

Locationkm[17]miDestinationsNotes
Delta0.000.0096 StreetClosed; former intersection; replaced by River Road interchange[24]
0.250.16 Hwy 17 / Hwy 1 (TCH) east – South Delta, Ferries, Surrey, Hope
River Road
Interchange [25]
1.050.65Nordel Way (west) / Scale AccessInterchange [26]
1.330.83 Hwy 91 south – USA borderFree-flow eastbound; at-grade westbound
1.961.22 Hwy 91 north – New Westminster, Vancouver, RichmondInterchange[27]
2.241.39Nordel Way (east)Continues east
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References

  1. ^ a b Landmark Kilometre Inventory (PDF). British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (Report). Cypher Consulting. July 2016. pp. 399–402. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-03-11. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  2. ^ "Official Numbered Routes in British Columbia - Highway 91". BC Ministry of Transportation. 28 May 2008. Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2009.
  3. ^ "$211 million Canada-BC investment at BC lower Mainland crossings". Infrastructure Canada. 30 December 2009. Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2009.
  4. ^ Dave White (29 August 2011). "Delta wants federal cash for highways". News 1130. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  5. ^ Jennifer Saltman (3 April 2013). "Hwy 91: Trouble traffic light gets the green for removal". The Province. Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  6. ^ "Provincial government announces new interchange for 72nd Ave at Hwy 91". News 1130. 8 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Highway 91 at 72nd Avenue - Interchange Project". Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Province of British Columbia. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  8. ^ Smith, James (November 16, 2016). "Construction to start on interchange in Delta at Highway 91 and 72nd Avenue". Peace Arch News. Archived from the original on January 4, 2017. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  9. ^ Bernard, Renee; James, Tim (August 12, 2018). "Overpass in Delta replaces traffic lights on Highway 91". News 1130. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  10. ^ "Nelson road opening helps truckers, farmers and drivers". Infrastructure Canada. 22 August 2011. Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  11. ^ Matthew Hoekstra (22 August 2011). "Nelson Road interchange opens today". Richmond Review. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  12. ^ Judd, Amy. "New lane to be added to Alex Fraser Bridge by narrowing existing lanes". Global News. Retrieved 2017-02-18.
  13. ^ Seventh lane now open on Alex Fraser Bridge
  14. ^ Alex Fraser counterflow lane sees first rush hour commute since opening
  15. ^ Alex Fraser Bridge speed limit permanently lowered to 70 km/hr
  16. ^ "Highway Exits & Landmarks". Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Province of British Columbia. Archived from the original on July 15, 2016. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Landmark Kilometre Inventory July 2019 Version" (PDF). Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
  18. ^ a b Ponzini, Maurizio (2015-03-18). "Highway 17 & Highway 91 Connector Intersection - Truck Rollover Safety Assessment" (PDF). R.F. Binnie & Associates.
  19. ^ "Major roadway upgrades in Surrey and Delta to provide economic boost". BC Gov News. Government of British Columbia. 2017-03-10.
  20. ^ "Highway 91/17 Upgrade Project" (PDF). BCMoT.
  21. ^ "Highway 91/17 upgrades near completion". BC Gov News. Delta, B.C. December 19, 2022. Retrieved December 23, 2022.
  22. ^ "Highway 91/17 Upgrade Project MONTHLY STATUS REPORT" (PDF). Province of British Columbia. September 30, 2020. p. 8.
  23. ^ "Hwy 91/17 and Deltaport Way - Construction and Traffic Updates". British Columbia. Delta, B.C. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  24. ^ "Hwy 91/17 and Deltaport Way - Construction and Traffic Updates".
  25. ^ Highway 91C/Highway 17
  26. ^ Hwy 91/17 and Deltaport Way - Construction and Traffic Updates
  27. ^ Improvements to Highway 91 at Nordel Interchange
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British Columbia Highway 91
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