LANGLEY – The longawaited Mufford Overpass got its official opening on Sept. 4, with local, provincial, and federal politicians hailing its completion.
The overpass is also the final of nine projects that are part of the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor project, which began in Langley.
The Township had been lobbying for better ways to get traffic around and over the increasingly busy rail line that runs through Langley City, Milner and on through the Township.
The Township would eventually contribute $9 million to the Mufford Overpass, as well as working with the City and Surrey on other nearby overpasses.
At the opening, Mayor Jack Froese said the new overpass will improve the way people travel for years to come.
The overpass was not built without a great deal of controversy. It was delayed after the first design was rejected by the Agricultural Land Commission for paving over too much farmland.
Both that design and the follow-up drew a considerable amount of criticism from Langley residents who worried about damage to farmland, the environment and whether it would actually alleviate traffic congestion.
The overpass connects Mufford Crescent to Glover Road, over the rail lines. A three-way signalized intersection with Glover Road allows drivers to turn right or left without having to wait for a break in the traffic, as was the case at the old intersection.
The structure itself will be owned and maintained by the Township going forward, though the project to build it was overseen by the provincial government.
Some work was still underway and expected to be finished in the coming months, including widening Glover Road to four lanes all the way from 64th Avenue to the Langley Bypass.
Parts of the overpass were not quite finished, including one lane from Mufford, and some of the sidewalks on the north side.