(THE NEWS/files)                                Work underway on previous stretch of 128th Avenue.

(THE NEWS/files) Work underway on previous stretch of 128th Avenue.

Maple Ridge council OKs $200k study to find elusive route to the east

Will be ready by march, showing how to extend 128th Avenue to 256th Street

Maple Ridge council took a step Tuesday towards completing its road network by approving a $200,000 study that will look at extending 128th Avenue and Abernethy Way from 232nd to 256th Street.

Extending the east-west artery as far as 256th St., a long-term project, will connect the city’s industrial area on 256th St. to Golden Ears Bridge.

“That’s what will make the 256th Street area significantly more viable,” said Coun. Bob Masse.

“It makes it accessible as a job generator and an economic driver.”

A staff report notes the 128th Avenue-Abernethy Way corridor is one of only three east-west corridors in Maple Ridge.

The road recently has been widened to four lanes from 210th to 224th street, while four-laning of the road from 224th to 232nd Street is in the design stage with construction already in the city’s budget.

Currently, most motorists heading to Kanaka Business Park or in the general area, have to use Dewdney Trunk Road.

That leaves the final phase of the extension of the 128th Avenue-Abernethy Way corridor from 232nd to 240th and eventually 256th streets, a distance of about six kilometres, in the long-range transportation plan.

However, a route or right of way that will make the final connection to 256th Street hasn’t yet been found. Impacts on streams and the environment, infringement on properties and acquisition costs, the Agricultural Land Reserve and even archaeological concerns must all be considered.

Sorting through all that will be the McElhanney Consulting Services, which by next May, will have a route identified and recommended to council.

Seven consulting companies bid on the route alignment study.