If you’re used to racing down the Ospika Boulevard from Tyner Boulevard, look out … there are now stoplights at the bottom of the hill.
The lights are now on at the intersection of Ferry Avenue and Ospika Boulevard. The signals, which will be fully activated for the first time later today, are expected to help slow down traffic along the busy route. In addition, the lights will help with those wishing to turn left off of Ferry Ave. onto Ospika. Construction began on the project in mid-August.
The city has aimed to upgrade the intersection since the need to alleviate the growing congestion along the Highway 16 corridor was identified in the 2009 Transportation Network Study. To this end, administration has examined ways to encourage more motorists to travel to College Heights and areas in the west of the city by driving south along Ospika Boulevard and then west on Tyner Boulevard, thus alleviating traffic, particularly during afternoon rush hour.
All of the left turns at the intersection are “permissive” which means turning can occur on the green light when it is safe to do so.
“The ability to have safe left turn movements from Ferry Avenue onto Ospika Boulevard will be attractive to many drivers,” said Chris Vliegenthart, the city’s supervisor of transportation engineering. “Ospika Boulevard provides a route parallel to Highway 16 between the bowl and subdivisions to the west. The city expects that the road network will see a positive change in current traffic flow and queuing, particularly during peak commuting periods in the afternoon, which currently occurs westbound on Ferry Avenue between Highway 16 and the Simon Fraser Bridge.”
The project has a budget of $280,000. ICBC has also contributed $30,500 towards the operation under its road improvement program.
“The new traffic signals will not only ensure a safer left turn for drivers, but will also help to lower crashes at this intersection as well as the busy Highway 16 corridor,” said Lindsay Matthews, director responsible for road safety at ICBC.
The project’s engineer is McElhanney Consulting Services and the contractor is Westcana Electric Inc.