Motorists will have to tough it out for the next 11 days with 128th Avenue completely closed between 212th and 216th streets.
The closure is in effect up until Sept. 26 and will allow major work to get done as the City of Maple Ridge widens 128th Ave. to four lanes from two.
Once construction is complete, by the end of the year, there will be four smooth new lanes to speed commuters east and west between Golden Ears Way up to 216th Street.
And next year, if the stretch from 216th to 224th streets is completed, depending on council’s approval, Maple Ridge will have another major east-west artery in addition to Lougheed Highway and Dewdney Trunk Road.
Part of the current project involves installation of two-metre high concrete culverts at two points beneath the road, one at Laity Street the other at 216th Street.
That will improve drainage in the area and also allow passage of two fish-bearing creeks, Laity and McKenney, beneath the road.
The design of the culverts is intended to be fish friendly, with daylight in the tunnels from holes in the manhole covers, while baffles and gravel on the bottom will give fish a place to rest, even spawn.
Work involving the streams has to be done by October so not to interfere with spawning.
City spokesman Fred Armstrong knows the work has lengthened commutes for some and appreciates their patience.
Once this year’s work is complete, there will be four-lane road from Golden Ears Way to 216th Street along with a multi-use bike path on the north side of the road.
Total cost for the project is estimated at $9 million.
Left-turn only lanes at 216th and Laity street will improve traffic flow, said Armstrong.
Further widening of 128th Avenue which becomes Abernethy Way, from 224th to 232nd streets, is about five to 10 years away.