With Ottawa’s recent commitment of $1.3 billion toward the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain project, the city is moving ahead with pre-construction work preparations.
Council Monday approved capital components including the widening of Fraser Highway from 96 Avenue to 148 Street and the removal of the digital billboard sign on Fraser Highway.
“I’m really proud that we’re moving ahead so quickly to advance the preparation work for SkyTrain,” Mayor Doug McCallum said. “This SkyTrain extension will deliver rapid transportation, and connect our growing communities, while reducing congestion on our roads.
“It will also deliver well paying jobs and grow our economy, as we recover from the pandemic. The time has come to get started on this vital transportation project, and the city is ready to go.”
The city approvals come after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s July 9 announcement of up to $1.3 billion in funding toward the Surrey-Langley extension project. The provincial government and its partners will fund the remainder of the estimated $2.54 billion cost for the project.
The Fraser Highway Road widening is set to include improved cycling paths, two lanes of travel in each direction and enhancements to existing culverts to improve fish and/or wildlife passage. Also, the city is working with TransLink to develop optimal road design to minimize the road footprint and limit tree and environmental impacts while integrating with SkyTrain route alignment.
Road widening is set to begin in July, with instream works in August and September to align with the provincial and federal restrictions for instream works and bird nesting.
As part of preparation work, the city will also relocate an existing digital billboard from the Surrey Sport and Leisure site on Fraser Highway to accommodate the SkyTrain alignment.
This project was part of the more than 20 major capital projects approved by City Council as part of the Five-Year (2021-25) Financial Plan in the 2021 budget.
The extension will connect growing Surrey neighbourhoods, the Township of Langley and the City of Langley to Surrey Centre and the regional SkyTrain network.
The project includes 16 kilometres on an elevated guideway from King George SkyTrain Station to Langley City Centre along Fraser Highway. It also includes eight stations, three bus exchanges, park and ride spaces, 30 SkyTrain cars, an operations and maintenance centre and supporting system upgrades.
The proposed extension is projected to serve 62,000 daily riders in 2035 and grow to 71,200 riders in 2050. Some 24,000 to 30,000 of these riders are expected to switch to transit from other modes of transportation.