Roadwork along 128 Avenue in 2015. THE NEWS/files

Roadwork along 128 Avenue in 2015. THE NEWS/files

Maple Ridge roadwork preparation for upcoming years

Preparation and design being done for various projects starting next year.

If you’ve found yourself driving slowly past a roadwork crew recently, keep in mind that most of the construction being done this summer is for projects in coming years.

Next year, two major projects will start.

There will be the upgrading of Lougheed Highway between 224th and 226h streets, as well as that from 232nd Street, from 132 Avenue up the hill to Silver Valley Road.

The downtown project will be the last section of highway that requires upgrading.

Over the years, Lougheed Hwy. has been upgraded from 222nd to 224th streets, and from 226th to 228 streets.

The most recent work was done from 2014 to 2015.

Construction is expected to begin in the early spring of 2018.

“We want to make sure we do adequate, not just adequate, but satisfactory public consultation with the owners along that section,” said David Pollock, engineer with the City of Maple Ridge.

“Even though we had some discussions in the past, it’s been sitting for a couple of years, so we just want to make sure that everyone is aware of it and supportive of it.”

There will be some upgrading of the underground utilities along that stretch of highway, such as sewers and storm sewers.

Workers will also be replacing existing curbs and sidewalks and upgrading street trees, street lighting and furniture. as well.

“It’ll kind of complete that one section there,” said Pollock.

The city received $2.4 million in grants from the federal and provincial governments for the project.

Work along 232nd St. will include the rebuilding and re-profiling of the road to make it easier to drive.

“There are certain sections that are relatively steep. There is one particular section that is greater than what we would normally like,” said Pollock.

Work will also be done on the utilities along this corridor, as well as the installation of bicycle facilities, sidewalks and street lighting.

Pollock is hoping to get a little bit of the preparatory work done this year.

“We have to relocate a ditch and so forth,” he said, adding that if it doesn’t happen this year, it can be done all next year.

The city is also in process of starting the design section along 128th Avenue from 224th to 232nd streets.

“That doesn’t actually go to construction for four years, but we want to get the design underway so we can be aware of any issues along the corridor,” said Pollock.

The city is also looking at the potential extension of Abernethy Way, from 232nd to 256 streets.

“That is more of a long-term project,” Pollock said, adding that there are six or seven alignment options and that staff are just looking at the choices again, along with the possibility of linking the corridor to Silver Valley.

Pollock is also examining Fern Crescent from 232nd St. into Golden Ears park.

This section of roadway is part of the TransLink network and has always been identified as needing upgrading.

“There is an issue with trees along that corridor. The question would be, do you try and utilize the existing road corridor or do you try and change the alignment a little bit – one, to make it a better alignment; and, two, to mitigate the impact upon the trees and vegetation.”

The conceptual review will be refined over the next couple of years and the process would involve public consultations with users and owners along the corridor.

“There is a proposed corridor,” said Pollock.

“Anytime you relocate a corridor, it has impacts upon existing properties and businesses. Without saying we are going to move it over here and this is the impact, we want to sort of open that up to various parties and say what if we do this option versus this option.”

Another project the city is just getting started on is the construction of a multi-use pathway along 117th Avenue between Burnett and 232nd streets.

”That’s a project that will accommodate both pedestrian and cyclists along that section of road,” said Pollock.

They will be putting in curbs, road drainage, an asphalt multi use pathway for pedestrians and cyclists and street lighting.

Two other projects they are preparing for in the coming years is the reconstruction of the bridge at 224th St. and 132 Ave., and traffic calming and bike facilities on 123rd Avenue between 203rd and Laity streets.