Highway 91/91A Queensborough and Howes Interchanges

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Contact: Alan Emery

As part of the Border Infrastructure Program to improve the access for commercial traffic to Canada’s border crossings, the provincial and federal governments funded upgrades to Highway 91/91A to eliminate bottlenecks. Upgrades were required to the Queensborough North Approach Interchange and Queensborough Bridge to improve safety and traffic flow. The 50-year old bridge is a critical link to the regional highway network.

The project involved widening the bridge to four lanes, reconfiguring the interchange, adding pedestrian and cycling facilities, and improving local roads. Project challenges included managing and maintaining the high traffic volumes during construction, connecting with city streets and transit facilities, accommodating pedestrian and cyclist movements, improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists, and addressing concerns of neighbours, businesses, and the cycling community. New cantilever sidewalks and bicycle railings were added and new safety barriers were installed on the bridge to separate traffic from the cycle path and sidewalk. In addition, a pedestrian overpass was designed to link the bridge’s west sidewalk to 22nd Street, which connects to a pedestrian trail leading to the 22nd Street Skytrain Station. 

The North interchange was constructed with approximately 100,000 vehicles daily traversing the site. The design of the interchange included a new flyover for Marine Way westbound, which was complicated by the extreme skew of the crossing, and the limited structure depth available due to an adjacent ramp and an overhead power line. The solution was a continuous, 80 m long, three span cast-in-place concrete superstructure supported by intermediate columns and gravel-filled concrete box abutments.

South of the Queensborough Bridge, the Ministry wanted a fast-tracked design to convert the Howes Street intersection to an interchange to improve access for the Queensborough Landing commercial development. The selected interchange scheme was a depressed diamond interchange, built in stages.