Image Surrey.ca

Image Surrey.ca

Surrey council approves design contract for 84th connection as divide grows

The road will cost $12.25 million to build

If you build it, they’ll be mad.

Or glad.

It all depends on which Surrey council member you ask.

Surrey council is making haste to punch an extension of 84th Avenue, from King George Boulevard to 140th Street, through a hydro right-of-way at the southern end of Bear Creek Park. But there’s a wide gulf on council about the pros and cons of this project, which had been abandoned by a former council in 2007.

The project received both bouquets and brickbats from supporters and opponents on council during debate Monday.

“There is big support – big support for this – in our community,” Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said. “Certainly I have received unbelievable support for this.”

McCallum said the project will help ease traffic problems at nearby 88th Avenue and King George Boulevard. “One person every four days gets either seriously injured or dies in accidents there. One every four days. That’s how serious this intersection is. Every two days there is a major accident. We have to do something with it.

“We are not going through Bear Creek Park,” he said. “It’s through the power lines, a little bit of green space there which is city land which is part of the road right-of-way.”

The city’s engineering department asked council on March 8 to award to Aplin and Martin Consultants Ltd. a $409,838.10 design contract for field investigations, preliminary design and public engagement, to set the expenditure authorization limit for the consultant design agreement at $451,000 and retain Aplin and Martin to provide engineering services for detailed design and tendering services for the project, for an “estimated” fee of $154,000.

At its Feb. 22 meeting, the Safe Surrey Coalition voted to fast-track the project, on a five-to-four vote. On March 8, council approved the engineering department’s recommendations along that same divide.

Councillor Brenda Locke noted the road will cost $12.25 million to build. “We didn’t talk about this at budget time,” she said. “We do know there are going to be trees coming down.

“I think it came as a shock to many, many people in Surrey,” she said, noting there are two red-coded streams in the area – Bear Creek and King Creek. “They absolutely feel blindsided,” she said of the residents.

Locke also asked if Surrey city staff has contacted their counterparts in Delta about it as the intention is ultimately to fill in the gaps along 84th all the way to Scott Road. Scott Neuman, Surrey’s general manager of engineering, told council “we have not called Delta yet” given this project is in the middle of Surrey. “We will maybe contact and consult Delta,” he said.

Neuman noted funding for the consultant design agreement has been approved in the 2021 transportation budget and the “missing segment” between 124th Street and 128th Street will be done through a “separate short-term” project in 2021-2023. Completion of these two “missing road segments,” Neuman noted, will provide a “significant multi-modal transportation corridor and connectivity” for Newton and Fleetwood.

In 2007 the council of the day shelved the 84th Avenue expansion project because of public opposition to it. But since then, Neuman noted in a corporate report to council, Surrey has grown by more than 100,000 residents “and congestion is becoming increasingly worse in the area of 88 Avenue and King George Boulevard, further necessitating the need for completing the remaining two segments of 84 Avenue.”

READ ALSO: Surrey council resurrects, fast-tracks 84th Avenue connection at Bear Creek Park

Neuman noted that 88th Avenue and King George is Surrey’s worst intersection “with respect to the number and severity” of traffic crashes and is also rated the third-worst intersection for collisions in the province.

As for public consultation, his report says, city staff will “seek input and engage the community” through online and in-person surveys, social media, local mailouts and “media promotions.”

“No other projects are getting deleted to fund this,” Neuman said. Councillor Linda Annis said public consultation should have been done before the project got this far. “The residents feel very blindsided by what’s happening here,” she said. “I’m also very concerned about the habitat, the spawning grounds, the creeks that are close by there.” Councillor Jack Hundial said he doesn’t recall ever being petitioned by the public “to even look at something like this.”

“For me it’s going to be some destruction in the area around the park, such as tree removal,” he said, adding it hasn’t yet been decided if the road will be two lanes or four. Councillor Doug Elford supports the connection, arguing that a majority of Surrey residents want east-west “connectivity” in their city while Councillor Mandeep Nagra said the project is a “very good” example of smart development. “This is much, much needed,” he said. “This project needs to go forward.”

Meantime, Councillor Allison Patton says she’s spoken to “hundreds” of people who “love this idea.”

“Remember, the past is over and we’re living for today,” she said. “This is a solution for the times.”

Councillor Laurie Guerra said she’s “really tired of misinformation being disseminated.”

“The road will not go through the Bear Creek Park reservation area,” she said.

Councillor Steven Pettigrew noted Bear Creek Park is considered to be the “jewel” of Surrey. “Right now, we’re having a debate and discussion on this but the public is not and that’s a real problem for me,” he said. “The road divides the park.

“I’m very, very disappointed about this and we shall see what happens,” he said.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

City of SurreySurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Traffic was tied up at the intersection of Scott and Old Yale Roads in North Surrey on Tuesday afternoon, after a semi truck hauling a load of pipes flipped while making a turn. (Shane MacKichan photos)
VIDEO: Semi hauling load of pipes flips in North Surrey intersection

Traffic near Scott and Old Yale Roads tied up by Tuesday afternoon incident

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Tens of thousands of farmers descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Delta council stands in solidarity with protesting Indian farmers

Farmers have been protesting for months new laws they say leave them open to corporate exploitation

Sheila Malcolmson, B.C.’s minister of mental health and addictions (Screen shot)
Minister of mental health tells Surrey audience COVID-19 ‘has made everything worse’

More than 23,000 people in B.C. are receiving medication to treat opioid addiction

Alex Sangha, Vinay Giridhar, Jaspal Sangha and Kayden Bhangu (clockwise from top) are involved in making “Emergence: Out of the Shadows,” a documentary movie about being gay or lesbian in the South Asian community of Metro Vancouver. (Submitted photo)
Sher Vancouver, Delta School District receiving $10,000 in anti-racism funding

Provincial grants for 192 projects addressing anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian and anti-Black racism

Surrey city council chambers. (File photo)
Surrey drugstores seeking relaxation of spacing rules ‘a challenge,’ councillor says

‘Obviously we need pharmacies but it seems to me that we are getting an awful lot of applications,’ Brenda Locke says

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

In a 2019 photograph, Yin Yin Din held a picture of her brother Kyaw Naing Din, 54, and her late father Hla Din who passed away in 2014, during a trip to Victoria. (The News files)
Family of B.C. man killed by cop appeals to Attorney General for help

The Din family want B.C. Attorney General David Eby to forward their case to Crown

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Of 46 arrests made between March 16 and 19 at Metrotown mall in Burnaby, 27 suspected shoplifters are now facing charges. (Twitter/Burnaby RCMP)
RCMP arrest 46 people in 4 days during Metrotown shoplifting crackdown

$4,800 in stolen merchandise was recovered and returned to businesses inside of the mall

Maple Ridge's Doug Ubell caught some photographs recently that he was anxious to share, one taken while on the Trans-Canada Trail looking southwest towards the Pitt River Bridge, and another from on Golden Ears Bridge. (Special to The News)
Traffic on Golden Ears Bridge returning to pre-pandemic levels

Commuters from Greater Vancouver still driving more, taking transit less

Kao Macaulay has been charged in relation to a home break-in on March 30 in Abbotsford in which five kittens were stolen. (Facebook photo)
‘Prolific offender’ charged with theft of 5 newborn kittens in Abbotsford

Kao Macaulay, 23, is accused of breaking into home on March 30

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Most Read