While taxes jump five per cent every year, the District of Maple Ridge is putting the money to use doing what municipalities do – building roads and sewers.
Motorists have probably noticed the improvements in the last few years, but planning for the future never stops, according to a recent update from the public works department.
Next year, the district gets more into the real estate business as it tries to acquire a right of way to widen 128th Avenue between 210th and 224th Streets. The same right of way will be used to accommodate a new bicycle path and water main.
Once the property is acquired, the district then can widen 128th Avenue to four lanes.
But that’s just the latest project that follows several that have been recently scratched off the district’s to-do list.
In the past few years, the district has tackled a major headache for eastbound commuters, first by smoothing out the dogleg of Abernethy Way at 224th Street, then installing lights and signals. Improvements have also been made to Abernethy Way intersections at 227th, 228th and 230th streets, while a new bike and pedestrian path is in place between 224th and 232nd streets.
Just completed this fall was a major rebuild of 122nd Avenue from 216th to 221st streets, including pathways. The new road and sidewalks will make it easier for both autos and pedestrians to get to and from Maple Ridge secondary.
A few other projects completed in the past few years are the new roundabout at Fern Crescent on 232nd Street, widening of 232nd Street in the same area, and rebuilding Shady Lane (124th Avenue) between Laity and 216th streets.
Less exciting, but just as needed, has been work done on Maple Ridge’s water and sewage systems.
The water main on Dewdney Trunk Road between Laity Street and 216th Avenue was replaced with a larger capacity main, while the same thing has been done on 126th Avenue between 216th and Blackstock streets.
Work continues to replace and renew the sanitary sewer system in order to keep stormwater flows from infiltrating into the sanitary sewers and causing overflows, while the sewage pump station on Wharf Street in Hammond has also been improved to enhance flood protection.
In order to keep on top of things, several master plans are in place. The 2003 transportation master plan is being updated, just as the master water plan was in the last two years. A sanitary plan is under development and an integrated stormwater plan is underway for Silver Valley, at the north end of 232nd Street.