Wednesday - July 3, 2024 - No date for Hwy 1 expansion to Chilliwack

☀ High 24C

Good morning!

One of my favourite things to do in a new town is pick up a copy of the local paper. Which is why, after I abandoned Tyler on Friday and drove up to Invermere for the long weekend, I found myself with a copy of the Columbia Valley Pioneer.

This independent newspaper is, in many ways, the archetypal small town paper. There is one reporter, Steve, who wrote about daycares, Indigenous book launches, art festivals, infrastructure projects, and a youth parkour champion for its weekly edition. The bulk of the paper this week was the graduation special, where every Grade 12 student was featured and ads included call outs to individual teens. The classifieds also included a section for “cheers,” where residents named especially helpful folks in the community.

The Current is not a rural small town paper. But I hope that we can provide some of the things I love about those little newspapers: a sense of community, and a variety of news on topics big and small.

– Grace

Support local journalism by supporting The Current. Become a Current Insider member today and help bring local stories to life.

Traffic & Weather

🌤 Local forecast: Langley | Chilliwack | Abbotsford | Hope

🚘 Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google, and find DriveBC’s latest updates.

🛣 Click here for links to road cameras across the Fraser Valley, including those for the Coquihalla, Highway 7, Hope-Princeton, Fraser Canyon, and Highway 1 in Langley and Abbotsford.


Replacement, upgrades unlikely for Agassiz and Harrison schools in the short term

Agassiz Elementary Secondary School is more than 70 years old, and unlikely to be replaced any time soon. 📷 Grace Kennedy

Two aging Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs schools are at high risk of serious damage or collapse in the event of a major earthquake, but local school administrators don’t expect the buildings will be replaced anytime soon.

Agassiz Elementary-Secondary School is 71 years old and Harrison Hot Springs Elementary is even older, having been constructed in a matter of months in 1949.

Two years later, a second room was added to Harrison’s school, leading the Chilliwack Progress to declare that the village would “be able to boast one of the most modern two-room schools in the Fraser Valley.” The paper noted that the school had a fire alarm system, teachers office, and cold and hot water heating system.

Both are now showing their age, despite years of patchwork additions. (Harrison’s school now has five rooms, plus two portable classrooms.)

The two elderly schools have previously been identified as being at high risk in the event of an earthquake, and for the last five years the Fraser-Cascade School District have identified replacements for the schools—or seismic retrofitting—in its annual capital plan to be submitted to the province.

That’s still the case, even though administrators aren’t optimistic about the immediate prospects for replacement.


Need to Know

🚓 Langley RCMP say they evacuated an apartment building on Canada Day because a person was suffering a ‘mental health episode’ [Langley Advance Times]

🚑 A Mission man was sent to hospital because he poked a shotgun shell with a knife [Fraser Valley Today]

🚍 TransLink wants input on a future high-frequency bus route with dedicated transit lanes between Langley and Maple Ridge [TransLink]

⚠ An accident near Costco in Abbotsford shut down power to the area and temporarily closed Vye Road [Fraser Valley Today]

🍜 A Chinese restaurant that was destroyed by fire last year is set to open up in a new location in Sardis [Fraser Valley Today]

🚒 Mission firefighters doused two vehicle fires near the Stave Lake Dam over the weekend [Mission Record]

🐻 Residents have reported multiple bear sightings in Langley’s Otter and Aldergrove neighbourhoods [Langley Advance Times]

🩺 A health scientist shares what we can do to help people with Long COVID [The Tyee]

🌧 Chilliwack’s volunteer weather observer says this was the wettest June since 2012 [Chilliwack Progress]

💔 A Mission mom hosts a BBQ each year in memory of her son who died from toxic drugs [Mission Record]

☀ BC is headed for a week of hot weather starting this Friday, with temperatures getting up to 30C [CTV]

Certain heat pumps have been recalled because they could overheat and hurt someone [CBC]

🎆 If you missed Chilliwack’s Canada Day drone show, you can watch it here [Chilliwack Progress]


Khatsahlano Street Party returns July 6

The Khatsahlano Street Party is back for its 12th year, bringing the vibrant energy of Vancouver’s West 4th Avenue to life on July 6. From 11 AM to 9 PM, festival-goers can enjoy an action-packed day featuring over 50 musical performers, activities, and a huge array of shopping and food options. This year, attendees are invited to #ShineYourLight by donning their most sparkly outfits and showcasing their unique personalities.

Highlights include performances by Hotel Mira, Babe Corner, Toddy, Garret T. Willie and many more as well as family-friendly entertainment at the KHATS KIDS Stage. Don’t miss the Active Zone, engaging photo stations, and refreshing beer gardens. Join the fun and discover your new favourite band at Khatsahlano Street Party!

The Agenda

Although advance works are underway for construction between Langley and Abbotsford on Highway 1, there is still no date set for expansion to Chilliwack. 📷 BC Ministry of Transportation

No date set for Highway 1 expansion to Chilliwack

The BC government still won’t provide a timeline for when Fraser Valley residents can expect to see a wider highway heading to Chilliwack.

Last year, Chilliwack MLA Dan Coulter said widening Highway 1 out to Chilliwack could take more than a decade. Although staff later said Coulter “misspoke,” they did not provide a new completion date. A year later, that continues to be the case.

The Current asked Premier David Eby about the new projected end date for that highway widening—which the NDP promised during the last provincial election to have completed by 2026. He did not give one. Instead, he said the “widening of the highway is critically important” for families and businesses, and his government has been asking the feds for support on the project.

Chilliwack MLA and Minister of Transportation Dan Coulter also commented on the widening, saying the province has full funding for construction between 216th Street and Mt. Lehman, and that pre-works have been done between Mt. Lehman and Highway 11. He added, as he said in his interview with the Current last year, that the 2021 flood complicated the widening to Chilliwack as “we can’t have a nationally significant corridor under two or three feet of water ever again.”


You can share this newsletter by forwarding it or copy and pasting this link——into a social media post.

📸 Current Cam

Last week’s Current Cam proved tricky for our readers, so we are sharing another image of the same location. Best of luck to you all this week!

We want to give a special shout out to Connie, who was the only person to send us her guess last week. She suggested this was the cabins at Maple Bay in Cultus Lake, which was wrong, but a good guess!

Think you know where this week’s Current Cam was taken? Fill out this form.

🗓 Things to do

Shakespeare nights: Bard in the Valley performs A Winter's Tale in two Langley venues. The production takes to the stage on July 4 at Township 7 Winery. (Tickets are $35.) The play moves to Douglas Park on July 18, where general seating is free, and reserved seats at $16. Details and performance dates online.

Storytime in the Park: Storytime in the Park returns to Agassiz and Harrison each Wednesday this July and August. Registration is at 10am, with a book reading, snack, and performance starting at 10:30am. Today, Storytime is at Pioneer Park in Agassiz. Details online.

Show and shine: The Four Wheel Drive Association of BC hosts its annual Show and Shine at Fraser River Heritage Park on Saturday, July 6. Come to check out cars, trucks, overlanders, and rock crawlers. Entry by donation. Details online.

Have an event to tell us about? Fill out this form to have it highlighted here.

Catch up

That’s it!

Thanks for reading Fraser Valley Current today ♥️ 

If you found something useful, consider forwarding this newsletter to another local.

And before you go, please let us know:

What did you think of today's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Help share The Current

Wouldn’t the Fraser Valley be better if more people had access to local, quality news – and didn’t have to rely on social media? Share The Current with your friends and help us build better communities.


or to participate.