British Columbia’s oldest concrete road will be receiving a 21st century facelift.
On May 30, Township of Langley council made an in-camera decision to upgrade Old Yale Road using Option B, the “commemorative” option.
The section of roadway, connecting 216 Street in Murrayville to Fraser Highway in Langley City, has long been in disrepair as the Township deliberated how to bring the road up to modern standards, without sacrificing its historic importance.
The decision was made public at the Township’s June 13 meeting.
The upgrades, totalling $4.6 million, will see reconstruction of a 375-metre section closest to the Five Corners roundabout using concrete, with the remainder using asphalt.
There will also be a multi-use path installed on the north side of the road, a sidewalk installed on the south side and a commemorative/heritage interpretation area created.
Other options under consideration included A) “conservation”
and C) “reconstruction.”
Conservation would have seen the least damaged segment of the original road preserved and the reconstruction— using concrete — of the section between the Five Corners roundabout and 214A Street.
Reconstruction would have seen the entire section of concrete removed and replaced with asphalt.
Originally constructed as a dirt path for wagons in the 1870s, Old Yale Road was covered with gravel in 1897. The existing concrete surface west of Five Corners was poured in 1923.
This stretch is, in fact, the last remaining section of the road — which originally linked New Westminster and Yale, in the Fraser Canyon — that maintains its original concrete panels.
These original panels will now be used in the commemorative/heritage interpretation area to preserve the road’s history.
A timeline for construction has yet to be determined.
— with files from Brenda Anderson