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Steveston Highway off-ramp extension opens ahead of schedule

A rendering of what a new bridge on the Highway 99 corridor could look like. The provincial government intends to start construction on the project, which would replace the George Massey Tunnel, in 2017.  -
A rendering of what a new bridge on the Highway 99 corridor could look like. The provincial government intends to start construction on the project, which would replace the George Massey Tunnel, in 2017.
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Commuters exiting Highway 99 at Steveston Highway Monday were among the first to drive an extended off-ramp that road crews finished four months ahead of schedule.

B.C. government contractor Jacob Bros. Construction extended the lane to 1,100 metres—nearly doubling its length—using space previously reserved for vehicles accessing a now-demolished tourist information centre.

The $1.2-million project is aimed at improving the flow of traffic exiting the George Massey Tunnel. A government news release called the project "an interim solution" to improve safety and reduce congestion while studies for a new bridge to replace the tunnel continue.

A community information office for the project is now open to the public weekdays in Ironwood Plaza, 203--11662 Steveston Hwy.

Construction on the new bridge is scheduled to begin in 2017.

“We delivered on our promise on the Port Mann Bridge and South Fraser Perimeter Road. We’re now moving ahead on work to fix the next of the Lower Mainland’s traffic bottlenecks, by replacing the Massey Tunnel," said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, in a news release.

According to ministry estimates, 80,000 vehicles use the tunnel each day.

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