The Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge and the nearby Rosedale overhead bridge will get upgrades worth $36 million as part of a “long-term project” announced by the provincial government.
The funding announcement came last week amid dozens of infrastructure and other government funding announcements made in the lead up to the provincial election campaign, which begins April 11.
There is no timeline for the construction of a new, wider Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge linking Popkum to Agassiz on Highway 9, but a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure press release issued March 29 said design is underway.
Also announced that day is Highway 9 shoulder enhancement and resurfacing along 5.3 kilometres from Highway 7 at Evergreen Drive to Highway 9 at Macpherson Road in Harrison.
What will begin next month is work on the Rosedale overhead, which crosses the railway just south of the Fraser River. Work will include seismic upgrades to the abutments and bridge deck, and expansion to allow two-metre-wide shoulders for cyclists and pedestrians.
The two-phase project set to begin in May will rehabilitate the two bridges built in the 1950s.
“As a government, we have been diligently working to retrofit our existing structures and to build new bridges that meet current-day seismic standards,” said Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto. “These structures serve as a critical alternative route to Highway 1. It is exciting that we can add these two crossings to that list of important seismic upgrades.”
The ministry is working in close partnership with the nearby Cheam First Nation on the design of these seismic and safety upgrades.
“Highway 9 is a major connector route for this area, with more than 11,000 vehicles per day using the section near the bridges,” said Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness. “The work to widen the bridge will improve safety and ensure reliability on this important transportation corridor.”
Throness said the resurfacing work from Agassiz to Harrison will help in the busy summer months as the road is well-used by cars, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles.