Extensive roadwork underway on the Lougheed Highway through downtown Maple Ridge has slowed commuters to a single-lane crawl.
Municipal hall has embarked on a repaving project in concert with roadworks being completed by the operator of the new community gaming centre, Chances, being built near the junction of 227th Street and Highway 7.
District of Maple Ridge communications manager Fred Armstrong said complaints about roadwork slowing traffic are echoing across the Lower Mainland, and beautiful weather is the cause.
Pavers are rushing to get their work done while the sun shines, and before inevitable fall rains bring pooling water that would delay their projects.
“We’ve had the best August for construction,” he said.
The latest phase in the district’s downtown enhancement project began in late July, was scheduled to be completed by early October, and is ahead of schedule thanks to the favourable weather.
From 226th to 228th Streets, grinding work was completed midweek, and crews with contractor Imperial Paving are doing work which includes fresh pavement, curbs, sidewalks, medians, street furniture, street lighting and planted trees.
In general, it is a downtown beautification project, with design themes to match earlier downtown enhancements, and which is designed to improve vehicle and pedestrian traffic flow. It will provide a gateway on the eastern side of downtown, at a cost of approximately $1.4 million.
Once the project is completed, only the gap on Lougheed Highway between 224th and 226th streets will need renovation.
Great Canadian Gaming is also responsible for some of the paving, which will open up 227th Street from the Lougheed to the Haney Bypass for the first time, offering easy access from the bypass to downtown.
The new gaming centre is scheduled to open this fall.
There has been a lot of work on the Lougheed Highway lately. The Ministry of Highways is doing highway delineation work between from 240th Street to 287th Street – the Mission border – which includes centreline rumble strips and raised pavement markings. That is a $75,000 project.
The ministry recently completed resurfacing of Highway 7 from the Haney Bypass and River Road to 272nd Street, at a cost of $2.59 million.