Lougheed Highway will be smoother in the next month after a new layer of asphalt is laid down from just east of River Road at 243rd Street – as far as 268th Street.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has awarded a $2.5-million contract to Lafarge Canada Inc., for resurfacing that stretch of highway, along with a recoat of the Haney Bypass.
“Highway 7 is a very busy thoroughfare, and traffic will only increase thanks to our rising population,” Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Marc Dalton said in a news release Friday.
“This project will make driving this important section of highway easier, more comfortable – and safer.”
The repaving only takes place on the four-lane stretch of the highway between 243th and 272nd streets, leaving the two-lane portion east of that to the Mission border, untouched.
The resurfacing involves shaving off 7.5 centimetres of asphalt and putting down a new layer of pavement.
The Haney Bypass will also be resurfaced, from 222nd to 230th streets, and will include widening of road shoulders on both sides to make riding safer for cyclists.
Dalton said the westbound shoulder of the Haney Bypass will be 1.5 metres wide, while the eastbound shoulder will be 2.1 metres wide.
Every road construction project now includes wider shoulders to accommodate cyclists, he pointed out.
The government has said it has no money for widening to four lanes the final two-lane portion of Lougheed in east Maple Ridge. But even simply repaving that stretch could have required some redesigning, which could have exceeded budget costs.
Dalton said engineering and design work is on-going on that portion, so that if the money does become available, work can start quickly.
“That’s definitely on the drawing board.”
Work started Sept. 26 and is expected to be completed on Halloween night, depending on the weather.
Construction crews are also close to completion of a two-kilometre four-laning of the Lougheed Highway, just west of Mission, a $25-million project.
Meanwhile, Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin raised concerns with Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom about the safety of the intersections at 240th, 272nd and 280th streets on the Lougheed, at the recent Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.
At last week’s council meeting, Coun. Linda King said the intersection of the Haney Bypass at 222nd Street and Lougheed Highway should be added to the list.
She said that corner is getting busier as more residents walk to the West Coast Express but there’s an incomplete sidewalk so council should continue to press the ministry about that as well, she added.
“We also talked about the value of the West Coast Express,” Daykin said, adding he expressed his appreciation that seven new cars are now in service and that TransLink is now reviewing the entire service.
“We need to follow up on the anecdotal information … we want an evening train, we want a weekend train.”