Mt. Lehman vs Fraser Highway
Setting the Record Straight
Posted August 31, 2016
A recent Opinion article in the Abbotsford News has prompted questions from residents to Abbotsford City Council about how roads improvements are prioritized by different levels of government – specifically, why funding was recently received from the Provincial and Federal governments for improvements to Mt. Lehman Road, but not for Fraser Highway.
Through this article, the City is hoping to clarify for residents the difference between how roadway improvements are prioritized by the Provincial and Federal levels of government, and how roads that fall under the sole jurisdiction of the City of Abbotsford are considered for upgrading.
As mentioned in the Abby News Opinion article, Mt. Lehman Road falls under the jurisdiction of the BC Government as a provincial highway, and as such, costs for road improvements fall under the responsibility of the provincial government. The BC Government has outlined their plan for province-wide road improvement priorities (including roads like Mt. Lehman) through their BC on the Move 10-Year Transportation Plan.
Further, as Mt Lehman Road accommodates local, regional and international vehicle travel; serves as the primary access to the Abbotsford International Airport; and connects the movement of people and goods to the Canada/USA border and beyond, the Government of Canada has an interest in ensuring the road is serviced appropriately to meet growth in the local, regional and international economies over the next 25 years through the New Building Canada Fund Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component-National and Regional Projects.
Through both of these programs, the Federal and Provincial governments have prioritized Mt. Lehman Road for improvements.
Conversely, Fraser Highway falls under the jurisdiction of the municipality in which it exists, meaning that the costs for road improvements for the portion of the Fraser Highway in Abbotsford are solely the responsibility of the City of Abbotsford.
Improvements to Abbotsford’s portion of the Fraser Highway have long been identified as one of Abbotsford City Council’s top priority items, and something for which City Council has also lobbied other levels of government for support funding in the past.
Currently, City staff are reviewing interim and long-term options for potential improvements to Fraser Highway in order to address congestion/capacity. Potential opportunities will be presented to Abbotsford City Council early to mid 2017.
In the interim, feedback and comments can be provided to City staff via firstname.lastname@example.org.