Murrayville overpass levy to go up

The Township plans to increase the levy it currently charges for new houses, to pay for a pedestrian overpass in Murrayville.

Not only will the levy rise, it will be applied to all new homes built within the Murrayville Community Plan area, rising from $250 per unit to $332.

It is currently applied only to new houses built on the north side of Fraser Highway.

On Monday, council gave first and second reading to a bylaw amending the Murrayville Community Plan. The bylaw change also proposes to charge a levy on new commercial construction. A public hearing date has not yet been set.

In a report, long-range planner Paul Crawford said that pedestrian access across the busy road is challenging due to topography and the distance between the intersections of 216 and 224 Streets. As a result, people have crossed the highway where there is no crosswalk.

At the urging of the police who were concerned about accidents and near-misses, council approved spending approximately $50,000 on a fence to deter people dashing across the four lanes of Fraser Highway between Langley Memorial Hospital on the north side to the vacant lot formerly occupied by municipal hall on the south.

The overpass would take pedestrians above Fraser Highway near 221 Street.

Crawford said this location is closer to the recreational, commercial and health care facilities that pedestrians want to access the most.

He estimated that the overpass would cost between $2.5 million and $3 million, excluding land acquisition. This should not be an issue if the Township retains enough of the land it owns on the south side, he said.

The site has been vacant since October, 2005.

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