Local cycling advocate Jackie Chow wonders why sign depicting bypass improvements doesn’t show autos but does show bicycles, although bicycle lanes are not part of the project. (Contributed)

City, province still have differences over design for Haney Bypass

Maple Ridge thoroughfare a two-phase process, intersections first, then widening

The province wants to fix the intersections along the Haney Bypass, but Maple Ridge council wants more from the project. 

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced last spring that it was spending $22.3 million to improve the Haney Bypass intersections at Kanaka Way, Callaghan Avenue, 227th Street and 222nd Street.

The ministry provided an update of its plans in January to the public and is now mulling over feedback. That consultation process is continuing to the end of the month.

“It’s sort of evolved and I think we need to get clear on what we feel are real points of inflexibility,” Mayor Nicole Read said Tuesday.

The second phase, several years from now, will see the bypass widened to four lanes.

The ministry said its most-recent concept only requires a five-metre-wide strip of the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries property, allowing that building to remain.

But Read said some residents had thought that the ministry was going to buy the entire Salvation Army property and tear down the building to allow the intersection upgrade.

Coun. Gordy Robson said earlier that council was told the ministry would be buying that property and removing the building.

He added that most of council doesn’t accept the current design for the bypass improvements and that he wants the road widened to four lanes from 222nd to 227th street.

“We feel quite strongly, we want the bypass fixed. We’re not done.”

Read said the city has been talking with the ministry for the last four years. She also wonders why the Salvation Army building would remain when redesigning the 222nd Street intersection.

“I don’t wholey understand it, because the Salvation Army creates a lot of foot traffic across Lougheed. So if it wasn’t there, and we didn’t have the foot traffic, I think the design for the intersection becomes more efficient.

“I think the issue, all of the confusion, really arose when council found out through that public information session [about the supportive housing project on Burnett Street] that the Salvation Army was staying. That was a point of contention because it caught everybody by surprise,” Read said.

“I’m hoping we can get on to the same page.”

B.C. Housing announced earlier this year that the Salvation Army would be moving its shelter operations to a new site proposed for a supportive housing and shelter complex on Burnett Street, near Lougheed Highway, on the east side of downtown.

The city has yet to receive a rezoning application for the Burnett Street shelter. Neither has there been any date set by B.C. Housing for a second public consultation process on that shelter.

City engineer Frank Quinn pointed out the Haney Bypass project is only 50 per cent designed.

Figuring out the rest will continue to require a back-and-forth process between Maple Ridge city staff and the ministry until a final concept has been agreed upon.

That happens with any project in any city, he added.

If the shelter and supportive housing complex is built on Burnett Street, the Salvation Army would continue to operate its meal programs out of the 222nd Street location, and move its housing and shelter programs to the new location.

B.C. is contributing $16.9 million and the Government of Canada is contributing $5.4 million for the Haney Bypass intersection improvement project.

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