DELTA, BC – British Columbia has unveiled plans to build a new 150-truck parking facility on Highway 17, streamline the permitting process for over-dimensional loads, and study emerging technologies.
Construction on the parking facility will begin this summer at the site on the north side of the highway, just east of the Port Mann Bridge, and should be completed by winter 2018, the government announced on Monday. Facilities will include washrooms and showers, as well as security measures including fencing and lighting.
It’s the second such facility announced for the Lower Mainland under a 10-year transportation plan known as BC on the Move. The first was built on Highway 91 at Nordel Way in Delta, and can hold up to 40 vehicles.
Also announced are plans for regulatory changes to replace permitting requirements for low-risk oversize and overweight vehicles. That could reportedly save the industry $8 million a year in permitting fees, the government says, referring to changes that are to come this fall. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will increase the maximum weight allowed on 10-axle container trucks, and examine new tire and axle technologies.
“We are always looking at ways that we can help the commercial trucking industry carry out their business in a more cost-effective manner,” said Surrey-Fleetwood MLA Peter Fassbender. “By constructing truck parking facilities such as this, and by streamlining permitting and adopting new technologies, we’re helping keep B.C.’s trucking industry operating safely and efficiently.”
“The BC Trucking Association appreciates the provincial government taking a leadership role in creating a new truck parking facility, as well as the other improvements announced today,” said BC Trucking Association president and CEO Louise Yako. “These initiatives not only eliminate red tape and improve safety, but will help the industry to be more efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ultimately, consumers will benefit because a more efficient trucking industry means cost-effective goods movement.”
It all builds on a 2014 Joint Action Plan signed by the Port of Vancouver, the province and federal government to address labor unrest at Lower Mainland ports. More funding has already been allocated to the Office of the British Columbia Trucking Commission to increase the capacity to complete audits, which to date have returned $1.7 million to drivers. The commission is also examining options to reform the so-called Truck Tag system.