04/14/2014 08:32 EDT | Updated 06/14/2014 05:59 EDT

Federal government names company that'll improve Vancouver-area border crossing

LANGLEY, B.C. - Crossing the Canada-U.S. border will soon become a little bit easier for travellers and transport trucks at two ports of entry near Vancouver.

The federal government has awarded a $17.7 million contract to Lark Projects Ltd. of Surrey, B.C., for upgrades to a border crossing in the Fraser Valley community of Aldergrove.

The uprgades will include more inspection lines, a dedicated lane for pre-approved and screened travellers in the NEXUS lane, a larger facility for processing travellers and a warehouse for examining commercial vehicles.

Conservative member of Parliament Steven Blaney says an additional NEXUS lane at the Pacific Highway crossing in Surrey will also open, increasing to eight the number of pre-approved lanes that already exist in B.C.

John Winter of the BC Chamber of Commerce says the upgrades will promote cross-border trade and economic growth and come at a time when the population of the Fraser Valley is on the rise.

The funding is part of the more than $65 million invested by the federal government into Vancouver-area border crossings, known as the Cascade Gateway.