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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Surrey boy, 11, hopes to raise $3,000 for Sources – and be Prime Minister

White Rock Coldest Night of the Year event to take place Feb. 22

Recharged Sharks aim for playoffs after ‘well-earned’ break

Bayside rugby club mixes youth with returning veterans in quest for men’s Div. 1 title

Pedestrian fatality in Surrey

Police are investigating at 183 Street and Highway 10

Spring is looming – what are you most looking forward to?

Spring is looming – what are you most looking forward to?… Continue reading

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citzensip, he was evacuated by the U.S.

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Most Read