216th interchange will open by end of summer

Walnut Grove residents opposed the project for years

The 216th Street interchange will be complete by the end of summer, creating the seventh overpass and fourth interchange over Highway One in Langley.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure confirmed the interchange is set to open by the end of summer.

Crews have been out recently installing traffic signals, and paving of the overpass and lanes is largely complete.

Still to be finished is some final paving, which is weather-dependent, along with placing guardrails, painting lines and installing signs, landscaping, and planting in the low-lying riparian zones around the large project.

The project was originally to have been completed in 2019, but was delayed, partly due to project changes as the widening of Highway One as far as 264th Street was approved.

READ MORE: 216th interchange opening delayed until 2020

A number of local residents, particularly on the Walnut Grove side of the highway, opposed the project, and then lobbied for mitigation or a diversion of trucks away from their neighbourhood.

Linda Nash, one of the opponents, recently sent an open letter to the Township’s mayor and council about safety issues for children crossing 216th Street.

“This leaves little time to prepare for the health and safety of our neighbourhood especially the vulnerable school children,” she said.

The Township announced a study of the impact the interchange would have last summer.

There are two elementary schools north of the interchange, including Ecole des Voyageur at the corner of 88th Avenue and 216th Street, and Topham Elementary at 91 Avenue just off 216th.

An interchange has been theoretically planned for 216th Street for more than 30 years, but for decades it was on the back burner, simply as the most likely location for the fourth full interchange in Langley.

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