A truck travels west along 128th Avenue

A truck travels west along 128th Avenue

Work to start on twinning 128th Ave in Maple Ridge

District widening the commuter route between 210th and 224th streets

Harried commuters can breathe a bit easier knowing their rush-hour commutes on 128th Avenue will improve – in a few years.

Maple Ridge council votes soon on a contract for designing the twinning of 128th Avenue from 210th to 224th streets.

Staff are recommending the district award the contract to ISL Engineering and Land Services for just under $192,000.

The twinning of that stretch will mean an easier ride from 224th Street westbound to Golden Ears Way or to Old Dewdney Trunk Road.

Once a design has been created, it can be brought out for comments by residents in the fall, before the actual work begins in 2015.

The intent is to create a four-lane road with a three-metre-wide multi-use pathway for cyclists and pedestrians on the north side.

The work will be done in stages, starting next year and finishing in 2018.

Total cost for the project is estimated at $9 million.

Motorists will have to be content with that for awhile.

Further widening of 128th Ave. which becomes Abernethy Way, from 224th to 232nd streets, is about five to 10 years away.

“We don’t have that in our immediate plans,” said district engineer Dave Pollock.

And extending 128th or 124th avenue east of 232nd Street – is even further down the road.

Pollock said a decision to extend an east-west road to 240th Street will depend on whether a bridge will be built over the South Alouette River at that point.

The twinning of the 210th to 224th street section of 128th Ave. starts next year and will follow construction of a Metro Vancouver water main that begins in July along the same right of way.

Maple Ridge acquired the right of way in the past few years, buying portions of the frontage lots from the south side of the existing road.

The Agricultural Land Commission didn’t want land incursions on to farmland on the north side of the road.

Twinning of 128th Ave. to 224th St. is part of the draft strategic transportation plan that’s still awaiting council approval.

While the bid price for the 128th Ave. road design is $192,000, other expenses will push up the final price.

An archeological assessment of the site could be required, costing $15,000, as well as an emergency reserve of $19,000.

The final version of the draft strategic transportation plan goes to council next week.

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