Surrey approves construction contracts for controversial road through Bear Creek Park

·2 min read
Surrey city council this week approved construction contracts for the extension of 84th Avenue through the south side of Bear Creek Park.  (City of Surrey - image credit)
Surrey city council this week approved construction contracts for the extension of 84th Avenue through the south side of Bear Creek Park. (City of Surrey - image credit)

Surrey city council has moved ahead with a road through Bear Creek Park by approving construction contracts on Monday, following a razor-thin vote to approve it in May.

The corridor project will be an extension of 84th Avenue from King George Boulevard to 140th Street.

It is expected to cost nearly $18 million for construction and park improvements which include road, cycling and pedestrian pathways.

However, further modifications are also expected as BC Hydro raises its transmission lines for an estimated cost of $7 million.

The primary reason for the corridor is safety, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum previously told CBC.

The corridor is expected to alleviate congestion at 88th Avenue which sees a volume of 40,000 vehicles a day.

The project should also improve safety at the King George Boulevard intersection, which is rated the worst for collisions in Surrey and the third-highest site for intersection collisions in B.C., according to the city.

The mayor was unavailable for comment by publication time.

City of Surrey Engineering Department
City of Surrey Engineering Department

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The road has been debated for more than a decade in Surrey and its costs and consequences still face criticism.

Coun. Linda Annis says the funds should have been allocated to improving Surrey's existing roads.

"We're going to spend $18 million in construction costs, roads ... are in terrible shape. And this is $18 million that could have been going towards improving roads throughout Surrey," she said.

A group called Friends of Bear Creek Park also protested the project and gathered 7,500 signatures on a petition against the new corridor, primarily because of environmental concerns.

"You can just see that council really doesn't have a concern for the environment and serving, and are just completely gutting the green infrastructure network, which keeps the environment in Surrey healthy," said group organizer Sebastian Sajda.

A report by the city's engineering department says approximately 63 trees of at least 30 centimetres in diameter will be removed. However, the city says it will plant three trees for every one tree removed.

Construction is expected to start in August and be completed by September 2022.

The corridor project is phase one of the city's plan to complete the two missing road segments along 84th Avenue between 120th Street and Fraser Highway.

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