Variable speed limit systems are being installed on Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

Variable speed limit systems are being installed on Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack. (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

Variable speed system between Chilliwack and Abbotsford won’t be ready until winter

Construction almost complete but six months of data and testing needed for first such system in B.C.

Construction on the variable speed system on Highway 1 between Chilliwack and Abbotsford is expected to wrap up by August, but drivers won’t see the digital signs working until winter.

The digital signs will show a varying speed limit on signs installed between the Sumas River Bridge and Prest Road overpass, depending on congestion. It’s hoped the system will cut down on the large number of rear-enders in the heavily travelled corridor.

The project – which also includes seven kilometres of similar signs near Hope – has a $25 million price tag.

RELATED: Variable speed limits system coming to Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

RELATED: Highway crashes double in Fraser Valley, truck traffic also up steeply

When the project was announced last year, the province expected the system to be up and running by this summer.

But although the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure expects construction to be complete by August, the system now isn’t expected to be operational until the winter.

Instead, the ministry will spend about six months collecting data. That information will be used to “refine the system, as the congestion-based variable speed technology is brand new to B.C.,” according to an email from a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure spokesperson. The signs won’t be active during that testing phase.

The idea behind the systems is to lower the speed limit to slow vehicles down before traffic reaches a stop-and-go situation, helping to reduce the number of collisions that occur when drivers do not notice vehicles that have stopped on the highway.

The Ministry’s numbers show traffic on the Highway 1 corridor increased by 16 per cent between 2013 and 2017, as counted just west of Vedder Road in Chilliwack.

But over that same period, accidents have gone from 720 to 1,100 per year, an increase of 52 per cent.

-with files from Paul Henderson


@ty_olsen
tolsen@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ottawa serial killer Camille Joseph Cleroux died of natural causes at Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution on Sunday.
Serial killer housed at Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution dies of natural causes

Camille Joseph Cleroux announced dead on Sunday, known as notorious Ottawa serial killer

A peregrine falcon nest sits atop the walls of a quarry where the owner wants to restart operations. The province has now given permission for the nest to be removed. (Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News)
Company gets OK to remove rare peregrine falcon nest from Abbotsford quarry

Province says it is satisfied with falcon population estimates and mitigation plans

Garry Blanchard of Hope won $77,000 correctly guessing the outcomes of all 13 games of NFL week 17. (Photo/BCLC)
Hope resident rakes in $77,000 in NFL Week 17 bet

Garry Blanchard won the record-breaking prize correctly guessing every outcome that week

This urn was found Jan. 4 at a Yale Road bus stop and has now been returned to its owner. (RCMP photo)
RCMP find custodian of urn that was left at Chilliwack bus stop

Police say the urn contained the remains of a family’s cat

Sexual offender Taylor Dueck has pleaded guilty to another charge after previously serving a three years and seven months in prison.
Sex offender with violent history pleads guilty to another charge

Taylor Dueck of Abbotsford/Mission was the subject of prior police warnings

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A child joins the Uke ‘n Play kickoff event at the Chilliwack Library on Oct. 1, 2016. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Events return, in virtual form, at Fraser Valley Regional Library

People can take part in ukulele jam, bullet journaling, reading groups and more

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

People wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 walk past a window display at a store in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, December 13, 2020. The association representing businesses across Metro Vancouver says the costs of COVID-19 continue to mount for its members.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Greater Vancouver business organization says members face uncertain outlook in 2021

Many Greater Vancouver businesses are barely treading water as they enter 2021

A handgun seized by Surrey RCMP. (Photo: Police handout)
Crime Stoppers received 500+ tips about Metro Vancouver guns, gang activity in 2020: report

Metro Vancouver organization ‘urging local residents to keep providing anonymous tips’

Most Read