Variable speed limit systems are being installed on Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

Variable speed system between Chilliwack and Abbotsford won’t be ready until winter

Construction almost complete but six months of data and testing needed for first such system in B.C.

Construction on the variable speed system on Highway 1 between Chilliwack and Abbotsford is expected to wrap up by August, but drivers won’t see the digital signs working until winter.

The digital signs will show a varying speed limit on signs installed between the Sumas River Bridge and Prest Road overpass, depending on congestion. It’s hoped the system will cut down on the large number of rear-enders in the heavily travelled corridor.

The project – which also includes seven kilometres of similar signs near Hope – has a $25 million price tag.

RELATED: Variable speed limits system coming to Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

RELATED: Highway crashes double in Fraser Valley, truck traffic also up steeply

When the project was announced last year, the province expected the system to be up and running by this summer.

But although the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure expects construction to be complete by August, the system now isn’t expected to be operational until the winter.

Instead, the ministry will spend about six months collecting data. That information will be used to “refine the system, as the congestion-based variable speed technology is brand new to B.C.,” according to an email from a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure spokesperson. The signs won’t be active during that testing phase.

The idea behind the systems is to lower the speed limit to slow vehicles down before traffic reaches a stop-and-go situation, helping to reduce the number of collisions that occur when drivers do not notice vehicles that have stopped on the highway.

The Ministry’s numbers show traffic on the Highway 1 corridor increased by 16 per cent between 2013 and 2017, as counted just west of Vedder Road in Chilliwack.

But over that same period, accidents have gone from 720 to 1,100 per year, an increase of 52 per cent.

-with files from Paul Henderson


@ty_olsen
tolsen@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Salmon begin spawning in Hope’s Thacker Park

Countless chum salmon making way upstream for annual event

Food drive this Saturday for local food bank

Volunteers gathering bags of donations Saturday morning

Name Manning’s new quad chair, win a season’s pass

Lift replacement among long list of upgrades at popular ski resort

Chilliwack-Hope incumbent Conservative sums up Andrew Scheer’s election promises so far

Strahl says his party’s tax credit promises designed to put more money in the pockets of Canadians

Rainbow crosswalk plan gets council support in Hope

Council writing letter of support to community group for crosswalk project

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

B.C. man guilty of first-degree murder in Yukon killing

Edward James Penner, 22, was given the mandatory life sentence for the 2017 slaying of 25-year-old Adam Cormack

Woman stabbed at least five times in Nelson during random attack

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

Most Read