While the draft of Abbotsford’s new Transportation Master Plan emphasizes the need to make it easier for residents to get around by foot, bike and bus, the vast majority of new infrastructure will continue to be focused on improving streets for vehicles.
The plan forecasts around $250 million worth of new street spending over the coming decades. That would include widening Fraser Highway, contributions to Highway 1 interchanges at Sumas Way, Whatcom Road and Peardonville Road, and reconfiguring South Fraser Way.
The plan also foresees several new connector roads: one would link McKee Road, cross Highway 11 and connect with George Ferguson Way; the other would directly connect MacLure Road with the Sumas Way/Highway 11 intersection. Clearbrook Road north of South Fraser Way and Marshall Road east of McMillan are also among the high-priority projects suggested.
Several different intersections are also slated for improvements, with the plan suggest one traffic signal per year be added in the short-term.
High-priority intersection improvements include (from east to west):
- Mt. Lehman Road and Downes Road
- Marshall Road and Foy Street
- South Fraser Way and Countess Street
- George Ferguson Way at West Railway Street
- South Fraser Way at Abbotsford Way
- Old Clayburn Road at High Drive
- McMillan Road and Marshall Road
- McKee Road at McKinley Drive
The document, which has yet to be adopted as policy by council and can be amended at any time, suggests the city “begin planning” for the McKee Connector. The connector has been part of long-term plans for years, and the city has already factored the road into development in the area. A corridor already exists from Sumas Way north through residential areas to McKee Road. Construction, though, would require co-operation with the owner of McMillan Road farm that separates the corridor from McKee Road.
The plan also designates Highway 1 west of Whatcom as a high-priority improvement, although such a project would be entirely dependent on the provincial and federal governments.
The City of Abbotsford is hosting an open house regarding the draft master plan for transportation and transit, as well as other new plans for its utility systems, on April 24 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Clearbrook Library.