It’s a $70-million route that won’t be built for 20 or 25 years, but Maple Ridge city council is already considering the Abernethy Way extension from 240th to 256th Street.
The issue was before committee of the whole meeting recently, with consultants recommending the most direct route, along 124th Avenue, involving both new and existing right of way.
In November 2019, council endorsed an alignment to take part of what staff call “a critical east-west corridor” from 232nd to 240th Street, four lanes wide. It will connect Golden Ears Bridge in the west with industrial and employment lands in the northeast sector of the city.
In recommending the route, consultants said they considered the number of properties impacted by each route, impacts on the environment, the directness of the route, noise, pollution, the number of driveways it would intersect, and other factors.
The issue was set to come before council on Nov. 24, and once council decides on a route, the city with then consider purchasing the needed properties during the coming decades.
The recommended route begins on 240th Street, near Meadowridge School. It would travel northeast and join 124th Avenue near 244th Street, and then continue due east to 256th Street. The consultants, McElhanney Ltd., called it the shortest route, with the lowest cost.
Coun. Ahmed Yousef said council has been talking about expanding the route since 2018.
“What can we do to get this ball really rolling and moving down the road?” he asked.
“Where’s the shovels? Let’s go,” echoed Coun. Gordy Robson, adding that there will likely be federal funding available as economic stimulus, and the city needs shovel-ready projects.
David Pollock, general manager of engineering services, noted council is approving routes and a design from 232nd to 240th Street. The city will next hire a consultant to design that stretch. He said recommendations during the city’s financial planning this week will “reflect council’s desire to pursue Abernethy Way from 232 to 240th Street.”
Pollock said the intent of Tuesday’s report to council was to “identify a nice, broad line on a map that you’re largely in agreement with, that we will then take as the future alignment east of 240th Street, recognizing that it is more a long-term solution.”