Council presses for meeting

‘Two open houses do not meet standard’ for community participation, mayor says

Although they handed over responsibility for the Mufford Crescent railway overpass to the provincial government several years ago, a majority of Township council is pressing for a meeting along the lines of a public hearing.

When it decided at its Sept. 19 meeting to seek the meeting, council also asked the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to provide copies of the comments made by the public at an open house two weeks ago.

Council disagreed with Mayor Rick Green that the Township should host a public forum, deciding instead that the MoT should hold it.

Green said after the meeting that because of the controversial nature of the issue, and how explosive it had been in the community, “two open houses do not meet the standard” for community participation.

The Mufford Crescent railway overpass design, unveiled at two open houses on Sept. 13 and 14, will cost an estimated $52 million, necessitate the widening of a portion of Glover Road to four lanes, absorb far less farmland than the most recent plan, and prompt major improvements to 64 Avenue from 204 Street (at the Willowbrook Connector) to 216 Street.

Called the West T Intersection, the overpass will take traffic over the railway tracks at Mufford Crescent, leaving the Langley Bypass/railway crossing untouched.

The overpass will contain a loop north of the existing Mufford/Glover junction that will funnel traffic to south and northbound Glover Road.

The overpass and related road works will add several new traffic lights. These include one on Mufford Crescent where 62 Avenue will be extended to form a junction; at the loop, at Glover Road and 64 Avenue, and at 64 Avenue at 216 Street.

Information on the West T plan, the J Loop and others that were rejected,  environmental and agricultural impacts, and a schedule for design, tender and construction, is available at www.robertsbankrailcorridor.ca.

The overpass is part of $360 million program to improve rail connections to Roberts Bank in Delta.

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