Abbotsford-Sumas Border Improvement Project Phase I
Status: Completed in 2002 — Construction Project
The Abbotsford-Sumas Border Improvement Project was a binationally funded effort to identify constraints and develop solutions for the border crossing between Abbotsford, British Columbia and Sumas, Washington.
The border crossing at B.C. Highway 11 and WA State Route 9 is the Sumas/Abbotsford-Huntingdon Port-of-Entry, and is open twenty-four hours. It serves commercial and passenger vehicle traffic.
Why this project was needed
In the early 2000s Increased traffic volumes through this port-of-entry resulted in constraints and safety hazards at the border crossing. Due to a lack of parking for southbound commercial vehicles, trucks often blocked access to booths for both automobiles and other trucks. Traffic blockages led to dangerous driving conditions and congestion through the residential community of Huntingdon, BC. Access to the duty free store was also often blocked due to truck parking. Northbound traffic often queued through the center of the City of Sumas, restricting access to cross-town local traffic and interfering with commerce at downtown businesses.
This study was the first of its kind to integrate local, regional, and national funding partners from both Canada and the United States to address the issues facing a binational border environment. All planning efforts were coordinated and overseen by a project subcommittee of the IMTC.
The first phase of this project was completed at the end of 2002 and resulted in a final report from both the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Perteet Engineering, Inc. The report outlined recommended improvements to infrastructure and operations to address the concerns identified by stakeholders.
B.C. Ministry of Transportation recommended the construction of a commercial staging area just north of the border crossing on a vacant lot, which would provide parking for commercial vehicles and redirect commercial traffic away from passenger traffic heading south.
Perteet Engineering recommended both short-term and long-term solutions to address queuing through Sumas, WA. The primary recommendation was for increased border staffing at Canada Border Services Agency’s port-of-entry. The long-term recommendation was to develop an additional passenger vehicle holding area for northbound vehicles, and to construct a second northbound commercial booth at the Canada Border Services Agency’s port-of-entry.
Funding & Partnerships
This project was funded by:
- U.S. Federal Highway Administration: $120,000
- WA State Department of Transportation: $30,000
- Transport Canada: $23,000
- British Columbia: $23,000
- Abbotsford, BC: $2,000
- Sumas, WA: $2,000