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SkyTrain guideway segments could be built in South Surrey

Campbell Heights facility would provide space to make and store concrete structure: report
Concrete guideway segments for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain expansion project may be manufactured in South Surrey’s Campbell Heights neighbourhood. (Black Press file photo)

The Surrey-Langley SkyTrain expansion may not have any South Surrey stops planned along its route, but the region could play a heavy role in the project nonetheless.

According to a City of Surrey planning report, a chunk of the 16-kilometre project is proposed to come together in the Campbell Heights neighbourhood, across the street from the Walmart distribution centre.

If it proceeds, some 5,000 concrete guideway segments for the line will be manufactured and stored at a facility on city-owned land in the 19500-block of 24 Avenue.

The guideway segments “form critical components” of the SkyTrain project, the report notes.

On Monday (April 8), council unanimously supported a temporary-use permit to facilitate the work. The permit is required as the site is zoned “general agriculture,” which doesn’t allow the proposed use.

City officials said last week that “several issues” needed to be resolved before the permit – good for three years – could be issued, and Monday’s motion reiterated the point.

Those issues include a finalized environmental assessment and tree survey, as well as ensuring rights-of-way and restrictive covenants are addressed as required.

Council did not discuss the permit before voting, however, Mayor Brenda Locke noted “it’s really good to see stuff happening with the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain.”

Specifics of the guideway costs were not noted in the report.

The total estimated cost of the SkyTrain project is $4.01 billion. Formal approval of provincial funding for the expansion — from King George Station to 203 Street in Langley — was announced in July 2022; the federal government committed the year prior to pitching in $1.3 billion.

READ MORE: What are the next steps for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain project?

Major construction is expected to begin this year, with opening anticipated in late 2028.

At the Campbell Heights facility, casting operations would be underway six days a week, from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., with loading and distribution activities set to occur 24/7.

The planning report describes the proposed facility — expected to employ around 350 tradespeople and staff — as comprised of a pre-engineered steel building, storage areas equipped with rail-mounted gantry cranes, a trailer staging area, a concrete batch plant, office space and parking.

Access is to be via 24 and 22 Avenues.

While the permit is for three years, three additional years could be requested. Ultimately, the site would be restored to its original state and available for future development under the business-park designation, the report states.

Neighbouring residents, including those within an adjacent manufactured home park in the Township of Langley, were sent pre-notification letters in late February. According to the planning report, just two responses were received, inquiring as to potential impacts to the riparian area and regarding whether 24 Avenue would be opened to connect into the Township.

All trees on the site are to be removed — 133 in all, but not including unsurveyed trees within the riparian area along the site’s eastern boundary — resulting in an in-lieu contribution of an estimated $79,950 to the Green City Program.

The applicant has also agreed to plant a six-metre-wide landscape buffer along 24 Avenue.

READ MORE: Surrey-Langley SkyTrain line on track to open in late 2028, project director tells Surrey council

Tracy Holmes

About the Author: Tracy Holmes

Tracy Holmes has been a reporter with Peace Arch News since 1997.
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