The Steveston Highway and No. 5 Road interchange is a nightmare it for commuters as it forces people change their driving habits to avoid the congestion and people say it shouldn’t be that way.
As the City of Richmond allows for more and more density in Richmond there comes a responsibility to also allow for more infrastructure improvements. The city owns land on the south side of Steveston highway that could be developed into more lanes to move the traffic through the intersection but the traffic is still at a standstill as it approaches Highway 99.
During the planning phase for the Gardens, the City of Richmond required that Townline homes allowed in their development plans for widening of Steveston Highway on their block ,east of No. 5 Road. They fulfilled that commitment.
The Ministry of Transportation is responsible for Highway 99 and the overpass at Steveston Highway so only the Ministry can make changes to the overpass. There is an additional overpass over Highway 99 in the same area and it could be better utilized. The unknown overpass at Rice Mill road could be used as a way to reduce the choke point at Steveston Hwy and No. 5 road but it would require the road being extended to Steveston Highway on the east side of hwy 99. Diverting traffic away from the intersection of Hwy 99 and Steveston hwy could give motorists another option for exiting the Ironwood area and reduce congestion.
The stumbling block in a plan to connect Rice Mill Road and Steveston Highway is the land needed is in the Agricultural Land Reserve but a minimal amount of land could be used for the road and that road could be adjacent to the old Fraser wharves car lot located at 13800 Steveston Highway and now owned by Port Metro Vancouver. The city could also request a deal with Port Metro Vancouver to use a small amount of land on the west side of the lot and thus eliminate the necessity to remove farm land from the ALR. Either way the benefit of utilizing the Rice Mill Road overpass to the environment could be a substantial decrease harmful automotive emissions and that could be good for everyone.