Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission Chambers are urging the Province to have shovels in the ground to expand of Highway 1 and commit to funding it from Langley to Chilliwack to ensure the continued growth, and mobility of business and economic activity across the region.
(FRASER VALLEY) August 8, 2023 – In response to the release of plans for new Highway 1 upgrades by the Province, four Chambers of Commerce representing the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford, Langley Township/City, Mission, and Chilliwack, are uniting to push for an expedited completion of this Highway 1 expansion project to bring better transportation capacity to the region.
The Highway 1 corridor is the lifeblood of commerce and connectivity, accommodating more than 80,000 vehicles daily. These vehicles include the employees who power our businesses, the tourists who fuel the visitor economy, and the dedicated service providers and truckers who facilitate the transportation of goods, build our homes and businesses, and maintain our infrastructure.
Today, congestion grinds the corridor to a halt regularly, stopping trade, slowing business, and making it too difficult for people to get around the region. With population in the Fraser Valley expected to increase by 47% by 2050, the Chambers are pushing for completion of Highway 1’s expansion as soon as possible, and are encouraging the Province and the Ministry of Transportation to speed up preloading, design, planning, procurement and other timelines and schedules to get this valuable project started – and finished – sooner.
Completing a transportation investment project of this scale requires long-term funding commitments. Completion of the Highway 1 widening through Chilliwack may take decades, but industry, taxpayers, and local governments need to be able to rely on senior levels of government to commit to these necessary investments.
This initiative will be a game-changer for the region, bolstering economic growth, improving connectivity, and elevating the region’s potential.
The four Chambers call upon all levels of government and relevant stakeholders to expedite and invest in this corridor expansion as soon as possible, and to together, pave the way for a thriving and prosperous Fraser Valley.
“Abbotsford’s business community is growing and plays an essential role in the region, being home to the Abbotsford International Airport, University of the Fraser Valley, and other regional assets. Key transportation infrastructure has fallen behind, making this one of the top economic issues facing our community. Getting Highway 1 expanded with better underpasses, more lanes, and now the inclusion of high efficiency transit options is of critical importance,” says Alex Mitchell, CEO of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce.
“As the region’s fastest growing community Langley needs infrastructure that leads our growth, not struggles to keep up. Highway 1 is a vital corridor for the entire region and needs the quick action and investment to reflect this. Too much of Langley, like the Gloucester district, has gone without adequate transit and transportation options for too long, and this has to change. Getting Highway 1 expanded is critical and we say this project can’t happen fast enough,” says Cory Redekop, CEO of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce.
“Highway 11 connects Mission with the rest of the Fraser Valley and is a critical link to the US border, but the current interchange is holding back growth and slowing business in Mission and across the Valley. We want to see this expansion move forward as quickly as possible, and urge the Province to prioritize this project and allocate the necessary resources to ensure its timely completion,” says Miriam Bozman, Executive Director of the Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“Chilliwack is growing rapidly, but traffic is growing and the increased congestion is slowing down not only commuters but the commercial trucks that account for 8.5% of all traffic through the Valley corridor. A strong and healthy BC economy relies heavily on a vibrant, thriving, efficient trucking industry to keep that economy moving. Widening Highway 1 through the Fraser Valley is essential to ensuring safety, reliability, and efficiency for our truck transportation and commuters in and out of the Lower Mainland,” says Leanna Kemp, Executive Director with the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce.
The four Chambers: Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce, Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, and Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce, together represent thousands of member businesses across the Fraser Valley and work to support, connect and advocate for the needs of local business. This group will be sharing a formal submission with the Provincial Government as part of the official engagement process.###
For media inquiries, please contact:
CEO, Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce