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Langley road closures only get worse
Several weeks ago, The Times published an editorial about the challenges on the roads, due to a great deal of construction work underway this summer.
At the time it was written, it seemed like there were plenty of challenges in getting around in Langley. But since that time, several other impediments to travel have arisen, and two in particular are pretty major ones.
On Highway 1, a much-needed third eastbound lane is being built between 232 and 264 Streets. Given how slow traffic often moves along that road, the volume of truck traffic, and the growth in Langley and Abbotsford, no one is unhappy about that.
However, part of the project involves demolition of the 248 Street overpass over Highway 1. That overpass is now closed and partially demolished, and it won’t be until April that a replacement is in place.
This causes serious traffic issues in an area of north Langley where people, who matter just as much as other Langley residents, count on being able to get around.
It’s a significant detour to get to either 264 or 232 Streets, the only other freeway crossings, and the 232 Street corridor has been slowed up as a result of railway overpass construction just north of 72 Avenue.
One of the detour routes is 64 Avenue east of 248 Street. It too is closed — until Aug. 26.
Then on 56 Avenue, just east of the Township-City border, the road is closed until January to allow for replacement of the Nicomekl River bridge. This is a major route to four large facilities, all of which are just east of the bridge.
They are, in west-to-east order, Christian Life Assembly, Langley Regional Airport, Langley Secondary and McLeod Athletic Park.
Given that 216 Street remains closed north of 56 Avenue, due to the construction of the East Langley water line, it will be very difficult to get to these four major gathering places anytime soon.
As school is starting in two weeks, this causes significant disruption, particularly for students going to LSS. A condition of the work is that there continue to be pedestrian and cyclist access across the river, so students will still be able to walk or bike to school.
I know from driving on that road shortly after classes are dismissed that a large number of students who live in Langley City walk to and from school along 56 Avenue.
ln addition to the closures of 216 Street, 56 Avenue, 64 Avenue, 248 Street and 192 Street, south of Highway 10 (where another overpass is being built), 232 Street between 32 and 40 Avenues is closed until Sept. 9.
Several of these closures are taking place because they involve fish-bearing streams, and there are only certain times of the year when work can be done in creeks and streams.
But the sheer volume of closures this year has caused major inconvenience for Langley residents all summer long, and that will last into next year.
The good news is that the improvements should make it easier to get around.