Maple Ridge’s plans for a double right-turn lane eastbound on to the Haney Bypass have dissolved in the November rains.
The final design for the $22-million upgrade of the intersection at 222nd Street/Haney Bypass and Lougheed Highway includes just a single right-hand turn lane, as there is now, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said Wednesday.
But it’s a complicated project with space limits, and putting in a double right-hand turn lane would have meant removing left-turn lanes from Lougheed.
A double right-hand turn would also have a traffic light to prevent conflict with southbound traffic coming from 222nd Street.
Maple Ridge’s engineering department and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure have been working on the design for years.
And while Maple Ridge motorists didn’t get a double right-turn lane, they did gain an extra lane southbound on the Haney Bypass from Lougheed Highway to just before River Road.
Currently, the right lane ends with a right turn at Callaghan Avenue. After the renovations, the two lanes will continue past that before merging back into one lane, then merging with River Road.
Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden had wanted four lanes for the length of the bypass, but that won’t happen until later stages.
“You can see how that’s preparation for Phase 2,” he said.
That phase involves four-laning the entire Haney Bypass. But there could be room for a double right-hand turn off Lougheed in the future.
“That’s what we’re looking for long-term,” Morden said.
But the current plans are dictated by the timing of funding from senior governments, meaning the province has to take advantage of money when presented, he added. Motorists, though, will see one other benefit from the redesign. Presently, there’s only one left-turn only lane northbound from Haney Bypass on to Lougheed Highway.
After renovations, there will be two dedicated left-turn lanes, with a new lane for right turns, on to Lougheed, or for driving straight north on 222nd Street.
The latter is “a significant improvement on what’s there now, particularly for the a.m. traffic,” said city public works manager Frank Quinn.
Morden said the city’s particularly interested in the improvements to the intersection at Kanaka Way and Lougheed Highway, which is also part of the project.
“That’s been listed as one of the No. 1 accident sites that we have. So we really want to get to that,” Morden added.
An additional, left-turn-only lane at Kanaka Way will speed more westbound traffic from Lougheed Highway on to the Haney Bypass, which will also have an additional westbound lane added for a short distance.
Other improvements include installing a traffic light at Callaghan Avenue, which was the site of a traffic fatality a few years ago.
“That’s a huge safety concern for us,” Quinn added.
As well, there will be improved lighting and a multi-use pathway on the north side Lougheed from 222nd Street to 220th Street.
Eventually, that will connect with the existing pathway from 216th to Laity streets. Bicycle lanes are also being considered for the bypass, although no decisions have been made.
The city previously had expected a more extensive upgrade of the bypass intersection at 222nd St., which would have involved the purchase and demolition of the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries building at that corner.
Coun. Gordy Robson still wanted the double-right turn, and would have liked to have seen Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Lisa Beare fight for that.
Beare didn’t return calls for comment.
The city has offered to help the Salvation Army relocate, Robson said.
He said the Salvation Army would be better in a purpose-built building.
“I would like to see them move and that was the plan.”
The Salvation Army has said it’s willing to relocate.
The city has put a hold on any re-development plans along Lougheed Highway until it knows the final design for the downtown intersection.
Robson is puzzled about the province’s recent decision to improve street lighting farther west on Lougheed Highway, between Laity and 220th streets, at a cost of $1.4 million, although he welcomed them.
“I don’t recall us ever particularly asking for lights, but certainly lighting is part of the problem,” Robson added.
The ministry said that the Haney Bypass and Kanaka Way improvement project will be advertised for tender this week on B.C. Bid, with work expected to begin in spring 2019.
The overall project is expected to be completed by July 2020.
The project is part of a $70-million federal and provincial government initiative that will make improvements to Lougheed Highway from Pitt Meadows to Mission.