Opinion

Langley — City and Township of multiple overpasses

The 232 Street overpass was built so that a rail siding can be extended across the street, and allow longer container trains to meet there. It is the first of five rail overpasses under construction in the Langley area to be opened.  - Frank Bucholtz/Langley Times
The 232 Street overpass was built so that a rail siding can be extended across the street, and allow longer container trains to meet there. It is the first of five rail overpasses under construction in the Langley area to be opened.
— image credit: Frank Bucholtz/Langley Times

Langley may have to adopt a new slogan — The Township (and City) of Overpasses.

One of the five rail overpasses to be built in Langley and its immediate vicinity is now open. Ironically, it’s probably the one that was lowest on the urgency meter.

The 232 Street overpass goes over the rail line just north of Highway 1. The Township did not ask for this overpass — it was built so that the railways can extend the existing Rawlison siding, which begins just east of 232 Street, further west. The siding needs to be lengthened because of the increasing length of trains, particularly those hauling containers.

Mind you, if the truckers’ strike at Port Metro Vancouver keeps dragging on, there may not be as much container business left at the port. The business is highly competitive, and any weakness at one port is immediately pounced on by others up and down the west coast, from Prince Rupert to Los Angeles.

The 196 Street overpass, which extends over Highway 10 as well at the rail line, is basically complete. It is part of a series of three overpasses, new roads and road improvements which stretch from 192 Street and the Nicomekl River to 64 Avenue and 196 Street. Three major roads, Fraser Highway, Willowbrook Drive and 64 Avenue, will be closed in the evenings for several weeks to allow more work to be done on this project.

Construction of the other two overpasses on this route aren’t as far along. The 192 Street overpass, in particular,  is many months away from completion. The 52 Avenue overpass is close to complete, but roadwork is still being done on both sides of the approaches.

The Mufford overpass, which is being built across Glover Road and the rail line just on the north edge of Langley City, is coming along, but it is a very complex project. It involves some turn lanes being built onto Glover (which is Highway 10 at that point) and upgrading to several other roads.

A traffic light is being placed at 64 Avenue and 216 Street as part of that project.

Then there’s the 248 Street overpass over Highway 1. Inexplicably, it was open to traffic for a short time on Friday, March 14, and then shut down. The Times tried to get an answer as to why from the ministry of transportation, but was only told it wasn’t complete yet.

Then on Thursday, The Times learned indirectly that an official opening ceremony was set for Saturday at 11 a.m. The ceremony was announced Friday morning.

The overpass is now open, and it will save a lot of detour miles for those who live in that area. They have been forced to go east to 264 Street, or west to 232 Street for close to a year, while the new overpass was being built.

On a much sadder note, Times staff were devastated to learn Thursday that our long-time co-worker Sonya Kyryluk succumbed to cancer. She had been in hospital for several weeks.

She worked in production for many years, progressing from the days of X-Acto knives and banks of type to the latest computer design programs. Her smiling face and cheerful attitude will be greatly missed.

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