Fifty years ago a system of road exchanges were built to connect the northern and southern shores of Burrard Inlet. The exchanges shaved hours off the travel time between the two sides, allowing vehicles on the north side to quickly join up with Highway 1, cross over the 1.3-kilometer Ironworkers Memorial Bridge and into Vancouver.
“The trouble is,” says Lincoln Kyne, Lafarge Canada’s Vice President for the Greater Vancouver area, “the Metro Vancouver population has more than doubled since the exchanges were built.”
The north shore in particular has been transformed. What was once a modestly populated, industrial-era hub for shipping and trade is today a high-tech center, gateway of tourism, affluent residential district and frequent film location.
Keeping up with the times
The Ironworkers Memorial Bridge is one of only two bridges crossing the Burrard Inlet. Well more than half of the vehicles that cross it take the Lower Lynn exchanges on their way.
Today the Lower Lynn exchanges are a chokepoint, prone to heavy congestion and long delays. They can also be dangerous. Accident frequency on the Lower Lynn exchanges is higher than the provincial average, and the accidents there are also more severe.
Citizen frustration is so high that solving traffic congestion has become a single-issue force in local elections.
Meanwhile, water runoff from the exchanges diminishes local water quality and habitats. This has created an eyesore for area residents and an ongoing threat to a highly sensitive spawning ground for salmon.
Partners in progress
A coalition of federal, provincial and municipal authorities have put together CAD 200 million to improve or replace large segments of the Lower Lynn highway interchange system. To do it they have reached out to Lafarge Canada, a trusted infrastructure partner in Western Canada for 60 years.
“We build and maintain over 500 lane kilometers of roads and highways in Western Canada each year,” says Kyne. Our extensive road and marine fleet – as well as an integrated network of quarries, ready mix and asphalt plants, depots and docks – moves over eight million tonnes of material across the region annually.
We’re proud to be trusted to improve safety, reliability, and reduce congestion through this project. As the world’s leading building materials company, our global network of experts has come together to develop solutions on every aspect of the project, from paving to soil treatments to using recycled waste.
Our innovative materials and techniques are a key part of the solution, and we pay keen attention to sustainability. From top to bottom we live the commitment to quality for which we have long been known in the region.