The City of Maple Ridge should plot a new route to the east, one that won’t run past the Academy Park subdivision.
“It would be the end of the Academy Park deer. They would just be obliterated,” said Tony Kapusta, a 30-year resident of the area who lives on Ansell Street, one block north of 124th Avenue.
Kapusta is referring to one of three possible routes the city is considering in order to extend Abernethy Way from 232nd Street eastward, to provide a third east-west route to the industrial area at 256th Street.
“I do like the rural setting here,” Kapusta said.
He’s worried that gravel trucks would use the new road to the gravel pits on 256th Street.
“I think it’s going to affect my property values, because we’re only one block,” away from where the road could go.
He said residents enjoy the bears and deer who wander through the area.
“We leave them alone. We don’t leave any garbage out. The bears don’t bother us. But we don’t leave anything out that would entice them.”
He said most people in the 80-home subdivision don’t like the idea of extending 124th Avenue.
He attended the city’s open house June 25, when city staff presented a shortlist of three possible routes to 256th Street.
“I think they really have to listen. Because the turnout at the meeting was overwhelming,” Kapusta said.
“We need to examine it closely,” Kapusta said.
The city has shortlisted three possible routes out of a previous 13 options. Each of those three would cost at least $60 million and require funding from TransLink and both senior governments.
Another route would extend 124th Avenue to 240th Street, then run south to Dewdney Trunk Road and use that to link to 256th Street.
The third route would follow 124th Avenue to 248th Street, then run north along 248th Street, to 130th Avenue.
Kapusta is also the Block Watch captain for Academy Park and has another idea for how the city could create its third east-west arterial road. He’s proposing that the new route follow 232nd Street north from Abernethy Way, as far as 128th Avenue. The new route would then follow 128th Avenue east and cross the Alouette River at 240th Street, continue east along 128th Avenue, cross the Alouette River a second time, then continue all the way to 248th and 256th streets.
“They should look at 128th Avenue. The cost of [property] expropriation would be much less there,” he said.
Coun. Gordy Robson said that much of the east-west 124th Avenue road alignment already exists.
“I think, in the foreseeable future, we’re looking to go to 240th Street,” Robson added.
It would be another five years to extend the road to 248th Street, he said, and TransLink would have to approve it.
Staff will now come back with definite route options, Robson added.
Extending Abernethy Way to 256th Street would be done in two stages, from 232nd to 240th streets, then finally from 248th to 256th streets.
Abernethy Way has already been widened to four lanes from 210th to 224th streets.
Maple Ridge Michael Morden said earlier that the immediate priority is widening Golden Ears Way to four lanes from the Golden Ears Bridge exit ramps to 210th Street, also part of the Abernethy Way extension project.