COLUMN: No longer roads vs. rails

COLUMN: No longer roads vs. rails

Governments realize the worth of several rail line overpasses in the works in Surrey/Langley.

A plethora of politicians were on hand in a quiet corner of Surrey last Friday morning. They were marking the surprisingly swift progress on the $121 million “combo” overpass project, one of the many improvements being made along the rail line to Roberts Bank.

The combo project involves three rail line overpasses, two in Surrey and one on the 196 Street alignment, which is the boundary between Surrey and Langley. Work stretches from south of 52 Avenue to 196 Street and 64 Avenue.

This project may turn out to be the most comprehensive, expensive and perhaps even most successful of all the improvements being made along the rail line.

The heavy presence of politicians emphasized the partnership that is making these projects possible. The federal government has made improvements along the rail line a high priority. The government is putting about $75 million into projects which will total $307 million. They stretch from the port rail yard  in Delta all the way to 232 Street.

The province has also committed a great deal of money, as have the four local governments along the line – Delta, Surrey, Langley City and Langley Township. Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Kevin Falcon, who was minister of  transportation at the time the ambitious program was first agreed to, played a key role in getting provincial backing. Surprisingly, he was absent Friday, even though the event was held in his riding. Surrey is managing the combo project and work is well underway. It will involve an overpass at 192 Street, another along 54 Avenue and a third one that will cross both the rail line and Langley Bypass, along the 196 Street alignment.

There will be improvements to the corner of 192 Street and Highway 10, where westbound traffic currently backs up along a stretch of 56 Avenue. While 192 Street is a truck route, trucks are not supposed to use the other two overpasses, but proceed directly to Highway 10.

There will also be improvements at 60 Avenue and 196 Street and 64 Avenue and 196 Street. Traffic signals at these intersections will help move traffic better, near the busy Willowbrook Shopping Centre.

While this project is the most complex one in Surrey, several others are also underway. The most prominent is the 152 Street overpass, which will eliminate a major bottleneck on a key connector between North and South Surrey. No longer will long trains hold up traffic for lengthy periods of time.

Two other extensions of rail sidings are underway, just west of 184 Street and below Panorama Ridge from about 131A Street to 144 Street. The latter project, which involves rerouting Colebrook Road, will allow whistling to cease on the rail line in the area. Improvements to the 168 Street crossing will also eliminate whistling at that crossing.

The longer sidings will allow the railways to run much longer trains, which is part of the overall port expansion plans.

All these projects will help boost port activity and reduce conflicts between road and rail users. Port Metro Vancouver is a major economic driver for the entire region, and port traffic is a key job creator. The fact that all levels of government realize this is encouraging.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Just Posted

Launched in January, Uplift Canada was founded by Tsawwassen resident Maggie Larocque. (submitted photo)
Surrey shelters get clothing collected June 26 by Uplift Canada

Book a pickup on website of the new non-profit, founded by Delta resident

Converter thefts have increased dramatically as the price of platinum has skyrocketed. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press photo)
Catalytic converter thefts continue to plague Delta

Police say the thefts are on the rise across the city, with seven incidents on Thursday, June 17

A mixed-use development with 69 market rental units and 10 commercial units is proposed for the 2300-block of King George Boulevard. (Thinkspace rendering)
Pair of South Surrey apartment proposals move forward

Council gives third reading to rezoning applications for market-rental and residential projects

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read