Delta Chamber advocates for SFPR interchanges in Tilbury
The Delta Chamber of Commerce is pushing the province to construct interchanges rather than intersections at the two access points to the South Fraser Perimeter Road in Delta's industrial area.
While the association of businesses has been in support of the new road since day one, it is concerned that installing traffic lights in Tilbury and Sunbury will restrict the flow of vehicles through the area and hurt businesses.
“While the new road, a highway really, will contribute to the economic development of our community, province and country, it will open with a choke point at the busiest section, right in the middle of the Tilbury industrial park area and take us back to gridlock not only on the new road but on our other highways and roads,” said John Appleby, a past chair and transportation committee member of the chamber.
"We project immediate gridlock in this area, slowing traffic and stopping it, at tremendous expense to businesses and the community—an expense far, far greater than the money the government is saving by avoiding the interchanges," he said.
The chamber has advised the province of its concern, but says the government stands by its projection that road capacity will not be reached for another decade.
Meanwhile, the chamber has conducted its own independent analysis which indicated the SFPR will open with demand already 60 per cent more than full capacity because of the impediments posed by the planned intersections.
"For that reason we have been advocating for construction of interchanges there, not simple four-way intersections with traffic lights, now, while the road is under construction and at far less cost than in the future when the interchanges would have to be developed as separate projects," Appleby said.
The four-lane, 40-km long road will connect Deltaport Way to 176th Street in Surrey.
It is expected to be open to traffic in December, 2013.