All three levels of government have pledged nearly a quarter billion dollars in funding for Highway 1 improvements through Langley aimed at relieving one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the region.

Premier John Horgan and representatives from municipal, provincial and federal ministries were on hand for the $225.5 million announcement that’ll see an HOV lane added on a 10-kilometres stretch from 216th to 264th streets, in addition to a reconfigured 232nd Street interchange, improved underpass at Glover Road, as well as a new 150-vehicle truck stop at the foot of the Port Mann Bridge.

While engineering begins immediately, the transportation minister says shovels won’t be in the ground till 2021 with completion expected in 2025.

“We have a problem, we have a deficit of transportation infrastructure in the valley,” points out Horgan. “That didn’t happen yesterday, it’s happened over a long period of time. We won’t be able to fix it tomorrow, we’re going to have to fix it in successive pieces as we’ve announced today.”

Horgan says he has long-term plans to eventually continue the HOV lane to Abbotsford and even Chilliwack, but didn’t give a timeline for that work. His government contributed nearly $100 million to the expansion, with the Township of Langley kicking in another $27 million.

Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese says with so many people moving to the Fraser Valley, where the housing prices are more affordable, expansion of the highway is as much a quality of life issue as it is about addressing safety; emergency crews attend accidents on that stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway almost daily.

“It’s important that we continue to accommodate commuters because housing is a major issue in our region and we want to make sure people’s quality of life — they can get home, they can be with their family,” he said.

Froese estimates that commuters will save between 30 and 60 minutes' commuting time when the improvements are completed.