Vye Road and Highway 11 Improvements Project

Owner: City of Abbotsford  |  Abbotsford, BC


About the Project

The City of Abbotsford partnered with the Provincial and Federal governments, through the Building Canada Fund and Transport Canada’s Rail Safety Improvement Program, as well as with Southern Railway of British Columbia and Canadian Pacific Railway, to improve traffic congestion and safety as a result of ongoing Highway 11 congestion and railway operations at Vye Road. The subject area extends across the City of Abbotsford and BC Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (“MOTI”) jurisdictions. Key project improvements included:

  1. The elimination of an at-grade rail crossing intersection for through traffic on Vye Road. This was achieved through a two-lane divided, paved collector road with a 13m wide, 65m long overpass structural crossing, about 8.5m in height, over the Canadian Pacific (“CP”) and Southern Railway of British Columbia (“SRY”) railways. This road provides unobstructed east-west traffic between Highway 11 and Riverside Road which crosses over 762mm and 1067mm diameter FortisBC Transmission Pipelines that supply a large portion of the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley with gas;
  2. The construction/widening of turn lanes at Highway 11 crossing at Vye Road and 4th Avenue;
  3. The construction of a 1.3km widening of Highway 11 to extend the centre NEXUS lane from about 300m south of Vye Road to the USA border;
  4. Safety improvements and the widening of 4th Avenue eastbound lane extending between the at-grade railway crossing to the west of Highway 11. The safety improvements consisted of the construction of concrete curbs and medians, and the installation of various traffic signs and light posts; and,
  5. The upgrade of various underground utilities including water, sewer and storm mains.

The project was awarded in early 2021 as a Design-Build Project to Eurovia BC who retained EXP Services Inc. (“EXP”) for geotechnical, material testing and environmental consulting services.


The major engineering challenges included design elements that addressed high to moderately compressible soils, remediation and management of contaminated soils, groundwater, surface water run-off and waste discharges from neighbouring industrial properties. Ground improvement through surcharge and preload combined with the use of expanded polystyrene foam (light weight fill) was used to limit post-construction settlement of the 8.5m high overpass embankments. Environmental challenges included researching and selecting various commercially available liners with resistance to the chemicals in soil, groundwater, surface water and soil-vapour to determine the most protective and durable liner for the embankment (8.5 m high) comprising of EPS blocks. EXP’s team researched various environmental liners which would provide maximum protection for the EPS over the lifetime of the structure. During project construction, archaeological finds shut down the project for an extended period of time along with a flood in the project area in 2021 due to heavy rainfall and water levels in the Sumas River that breached the dyke system. Civil, Geotechnical, Material and Environmental engineers during and after the shutdown ensured that the project design challenges including challenging site conditions were overcome by showing exceptional teamwork and coordination. Engineering design and construction services were provided with a focus on design excellence, exceptional service and timeliness.


The geotechnical and environmental design along with material testing services provided by EXP met the project requirements of both MOTI, City of Abbotsford and Eurovia. The EPS embankment was wrapped successfully with an environmental liner protective of current and future spills of chemicals and adverse site conditions. The enhanced quality and durability requirements of the stakeholders were met and resulted in a significant contribution to the infrastructure improvements in the area.

Service(s) Provided
Materials Testing
Environmental – Biological
Contaminated Sites

Prime Consultant
BA Blacktop Infrastructure

Project Team (Consultants)
Sources Archaeological and Heritage Consultants
McElhanney Engineering Consulting Services Ltd
DMD & Associates Electrical Consultants Ltd.

Project Team (Contractors)
Western Tank and Lining Ltd.
Airfoam Industries Ltd.
Green Acres Ventures Ltd.


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