96 Ave is set to become a major east-west regional connector now that the Golden Ears Bridge is complete. To deal with the expected traffic increase, the City had planned to widen the two lane section of the roadway – from 160 St to 176 St – to a four lane arterial within the next three years. That schedule was recently fast-tracked, following the receipt of Federal Stimulus funds for the project, which requires substantial completion of the work by March of 2011. Due to the tight deadline, construction will begin in mid-August and will necessitate an 8 week closure of 96 Ave between 168 St and 176 St. Meanwhile, the section between 160 St and 168 St will be closed to local traffic only. A City provided diagram is available below. The road closure will remain intact every day from 7am-10pm until mid-October.
The entire upgrade will cost roughly $20 million. One third of the cost will be paid for by the Government of Canada, while another third will be funded through TransLink’s Minor Roads Capital Program. An additional contribution of $2.4 million was received as part of the Golden Ears Bridge project. The remainder will be paid for by the City.
The current two lane road is more than due for some TLC. The new 96th Ave will include a tree-lined median, bike lanes, sidewalks, and street lights, as well as several bio-swales to aid in the filtration of street water runoff.