Cars heading west at the 264th Street highway interchange in Langley.

Aldergrove bears brunt of highway crashes

Serious crashes are more common at the 264th Street cloverleaf

The six-car crash that temporarily stopped westbound traffic on the Trans Canada Highway in Aldergrove Thursday wasn’t an unusual occurrence.

Crashes at or near the 264th Street interchange are more frequent than at others in Langley, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

A ministry spokesperson confirmed that there were 21 serious crashes at the interchange in 2015, the last year for which data is available.

That compares to seven at 200th Street and eight at 232nd Street in the same year.

“In comparison to other sections of Highway 1 this is a slightly higher frequency of collisions,” said a ministry statement.

ICBC crash data, which is only available up to 2013, also shows the 264th Street interchange suffering more collisions.

In 2013, there were 215 crashes, ranging from minor fender benders to serious fatal collisions, at or around the interchange.

There were 190 at 232nd Street, and 148 at 200th Street, though another 118 took place on 200th Street just north of the freeway.

Langley Township firefighters are also aware of the crashes there, as they are called out to deal with cars into ditches and collisions frequently.

District fire chief Russ Jenkins said he personally felt the interchange was worse than the 232nd or 200th Street interchanges for collisions.

The six-car collision on Thursday wasn’t serious, Jenkins said. It resulted in minor damage to the vehicles involved and no injuries.

Jenkins said that there might be several reasons for the high crash rate, but he felt it might have something to do with the fact that traffic moves faster that far east.

“People tend to open up speed,” Jenkins said.

Although 200th Street is extremely busy, 264th has a great deal of traffic from the Gloucester industrial park and from its link to the Aldergrove border crossing to the south.

Both 232nd and 264th Street interchanges are old-style cloverleafs, with a single lane each way for merging on and off the highway.

As for upgrades, the Ministry of Highways says it is developing a strategy for future highway widening and interchange upgrades from 216th Street all the way east to the Abbotsford-Mission Highwy.

“Capacity and safety are being evaluated as part of this planning study, and we expect this evaluation to be completed this fall,” said the ministry statement.

 

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