More bridges, roads on Maple Ridge’s to-do list

New 232nd Street bridge almost done, major road gets major widening

The thing is, you’re supposed to drive over the “road buttons” on 122nd Avenue, one of the features that was part of the road improvements done last year.

“They are built to do that,” said municipal engineer Dave Pollock.

He was responding to a question from Coun. Corisa Bell asking why motorists are driving over the small circle installed at York Street, as part of the renovation of a few blocks of 122nd Avenue outside Maple Ridge secondary.

Pollock said intersections can have traffic circles, roundabouts and traffic buttons.

Circles are larger with objects in them so traffic can’t drive across. But buttons are designed to give motorists options, they can either drive around the circle or over them. All three types of circles are options to traffic lights that don’t require vehicles to stop or accelerate, increasing the noise and dangers of a corner.

Bell asked the question during the annual recap of road and bridge works, provided by the district Monday.

One of the major projects has been the $5-million replacement of the North Alouette Bridge on 232nd Street.

That’s set to open early next year and give cyclists, pedestrians, horses and vehicles easier access over the bridge.

The bridge will be capable of being expanded to four lanes.

Two major road projects will make it easier for motorists to get around.

With development occurring in Albion along 240th Street, that road will be upgraded and widened with sidewalks, between 102nd and 104th avenues.

And the construction date will get closer for the major expansion of 128th Avenue, from 201st and 224th streets. The district now has the right of way to allow widening of the road to four lanes, once Metro Vancouver installs a water main. Construction could still be a year away.

The design process for that road, widening it to four lanes and installing a separate multi-use bike lane and improving the  intersection at 216th Street, takes place next year, followed by construction in 2015.

Cost for the three-kilometre project will be about $3 million.

In all, about seven kilometres of roads in Maple Ridge were resurfaced in 2013.

Councillors, though, were worried about traffic bottle-necking at Golden Ears Way, which is only two lanes. But the district will push for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to widen that section.

Maple Ridge wants to ensure traffic that will flow on to the new North Lougheed Connector in Pitt Meadows won’t back up into Maple Ridge.

Efforts continue to make it easier for people to get around on foot in Silver Valley. Improving the sidewalks along 232nd Street, near 132nd Avenue, will continue.

Progress has been made in creating parks. Cedar Park and Deer Fern Park opened in Silver Valley, while Wharf Street Park opened in Hammond. Work continues on Albion Spray Park, while Albion sports fields are being rebuilt and work goes on rebuilding the Hammond Stadium baseball diamond.

According to the district’s newsletter, the Mountain Bike Skills Park in Albion has been a “huge hit.”

Completion of the rebuilding of Lougheed Highway between 226th and 228th streets was also achieved as well as the multi-use path along Lougheed Highway between Laity and 216th streets.

New sidewalks on Edge Street, north and south of Dewdney Trunk Road are also on the agenda for next year, as well as a rebuild, including bike lanes, of 203rd Street between Dewdney Trunk Road and Golden Ears Way.