Homeowners in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge who blame the road network constructed for the Golden Ears Bridge for drainage problems will have to work on a solution with their respective municipalities.
TransLink will address a “warranty issue” at a culvert on Airport Way, but will not tackle the soggy backyards behind individual homes, according to an email sent by TransLink’s community relations coordinator, Vincent Gonsalves, on Monday.
The decision to “dump” responsibility onto the municipalities has angered residents.
“TransLink has insulted all of us by just brushing this off and walking away,” said Leslie Colquhoun, who lives on Wildwood Crescent and is one of seven residents who blame a paved waking and biking trail, built by TransLink, for trapping water behind their homes.
Maple Ridge residents who live on 201st Street have similar complaints and believe Golden Ears Way is causing the water to pool behind their properties.
“The taxpayer is going to pay for it when it’s the bridge builder that screwed it up,” said Colquhoun, who added that residents of Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge are regrouping and might even consider legal action.
TransLink, though, is sending mixed signals to residents and the city when it comes to addressing with drainage.
“If the Golden Ears Bridge is responsible for the drainage problems, then we will deal with that,” said spokesperson Drew Snider.
“But if it’s not, that’s a city responsibility. So we are working with them to determine what the cause is and where the responsibility lies.”
The City of Pitt Meadows, meanwhile, is working with TransLink to fix the culvert under Airport Way.
Mayor Deb Walters said once repaired, the culvert should help alleviate some of the drainage problems.
“Once resolved, staff will continue to monitor the situation and report back to council,” Walters added.
“It is still my position that TransLink is obligated to complete projects as outlined in contracts and remedy any deficiencies. At this point in time, as mentioned, our staff are dealing with the parties involved and I do not feel we will be going to litigation.”
Coun. Janis Elkerton does not want the city and its taxpayers to bear the costs of solving drainage issues, since they’ve already spent more than $32,000 on Wildwood Crescent. Some residents in Maple Ridge have been compensated for similar problems and Elkerton believes Pitt Meadows residents should be treated the same way.
“The bridge is on a flood plain and it is going to impact the area. I don’t need an engineer to tell me that water runs downhill,” said.
“It doesn’t make sense to me that the backyards, which are on higher ground, are all wet.”