It’s a matter of a bit of short-term pain this fall, for lots of gain for a long time by having a new road and sidewalks on 122nd Avenue and Mountainview Crescent near Maple Ridge secondary.
Construction started in early August with a result that crews were well into their work when school started Tuesday.
But Maple Ridge district had thought of that and found some ways to help the students and drivers who are now converging on the school.
District spokesman Fred Armstrong said a traffic plan will help people navigate the construction site during Phase 1 of the project, which takes place across from Maple Ridge secondary.
Two drop-off zones have been created – the most convenient one set up on the north side of the school on 124th Avenue, at Merkley Park.
The other drop-off zone is on 122nd Avenue, near Dunbar Street.
Flag people will be around to keep vehicles moving, while intersecting streets such as Dover, York and 220th Street will be closed to through traffic.
“We want to try to adapt it [the plan] as the work is completed.”
According to a release from the district, the goal is to keep a common flow of traffic, just like an airport, making it easy for students to keep track of vehicles.
Two streets, Dunbar and 221st, will be northbound only while 222nd Street will be southbound to create easy traffic.
Acadia Street will be used for staff and student vehicle access.
Armstrong pointed out most of the area has never had sidewalks before. When it’s completed, Mountainview Crescent/122nd Avenue from 216th to 222nd street will be rebuilt completely, with new pavement and sidewalks.
“This is a massive project,” Armstrong said.
But when it’s all done, the road width will be the same as before construction, he pointed out.
A priority is completing the sidewalks throughout the construction zone, making it easier for kids to get to class. Road paving is the final task.
The district also says that students walking to Glenwood elementary should divert from 122nd Avenue to either Dewdney Trunk Road or 124th Avenue, until the project is complete.
Details of the plan are on the district’s website (mapleridge.ca). Updates also will be on the district’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, both called @yourmapleridge.
Mayor Ernie Daykin, who lives in the area, said the key is to leave a bit early, “give yourself lots of time, be calm and patient.
“I’ve already adjusted my traffic pattern in the neighbourhood, and so I know that it takes a couple of days to get into a routine. Above all, please obey the traffic signs and flaggers and know that district staff will make adjustments to the traffic plan throughout the first few days to ensure the safety of students and staff.”