Drew Atkins and Brenda Knights of the Kwantlen First Nation say the aging Albion Ferry dock needs to be removed – but the province is dragging its heels. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Decrepit Albion Ferry dock a magnet for trouble, say irked Kwantlen

The dock has been left vacant for 10 years on Kwantlen land after the ferry stopped running

After years of dealing with fires, wild parties, trash, and vandalism, the Kwantlen First Nation (KFN) wants the province to get moving on tearing down the decrepit Albion Ferry dock.

It’s been more than 10 years since the last trip across the Fraser River from Fort Langley to Maple Ridge for the ferry, replaced in 2009 by the Golden Ears Bridge.

But the dock remains on Kwantlen reserve land at the dead end of Glover Road.

And according to senior members of səýeḿ, the Kwantlen’s business arm, it’s been a continual security issue and drain on band resources.

The dock was built 62 years ago, said səýeḿ CEO Brenda Knights, when the land for the road and dock was expropriated from the KFN’s reserve lands.

“In those days, the nation didn’t have a choice,” noted Knights.

As the ferry grew busier and busier, with more and more drivers using it to cross the river, it became less and less popular with the Kwantlen members who lived along the the roadway where drivers lined up to wait for the boats.

The speed and volume of traffic made it hard for members to get into and out of their homes. Some drunk passengers or drivers even urinated or defecated in Kwantlen front yards over the years.

So when the ferry shut down for good in 2009 and the Golden Ears Bridge opened, the locals were looking forward to quieter lives with less disruption.

Unfortunately, Knights and KFN member and educator Drew Atkins said the now-vacant dock got a new kind of negative attention.

“It really did become a catalyst for negative use,” said Atkins.

There have been wild parties, including one a few years ago in which a Facebook post about a grad party drew 200 teenagers to the dock and road, with some residents confronting the kids before they were dispersed.

There has also been a lot of illegal dumping in the parking lot area near the dock, including drug lab waste, said Atkins.

And there have been fires – including one in which someone tried to set fire to timbers directly under the mostly-wooden dock, said Knights.

After some two-by-fours were nailed across the dock ramp to try to stop people from heading down towards the water, Atkins said he found a few weeks later they had been sawed through and used to build yet another bonfire.

“We had some community members that were assaulted,” said Atkins.

After the 2015 grad party, the KFN put up some sawhorses as a partial barricade across Glover Road at the entrance to the reserve lands, warning that it was private property, with prominent No Trespassing signs.

That hasn’t stopped everyone.

Atkins said he had to prevent a couple of guys on motorcycles from pushing aside fences and riding onto the old dock just a few weeks ago. He said he’s worried someone will be hurt or killed on the slick, decaying dock.

The financial impact on the band is also becoming considerable.

The KFN currently pays for security guards for the dock from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. seven days a week.

“This comes at a huge cost to Kwantlen,” said Atkins.

As far back as 2011, the KFN met with Langley RCMP about what they could do with regards to community safety around the dock, said Knights.

“The main message we received from them is this needs to be cleaned up and removed,” she said.

But Knights said the province has delayed taking action for years.

“They keep telling us every year that they’re going to do something about it,” she said. “But come on, 10 years is ridiculous.”

With the Kwantlen working to expand the band’s economy, they’re also finding the dock frustrating because it blocks potential expansion of the other nearby dock. A federal dock is just to the east, and the KFN took over management of it and had it completely rebuilt to modern standards in recent years.

But any further upgrades would be to the west – where the old Albion dock still sits.

A new business office for səýeḿ was built in the last year at the end of Glover Road, directly overlooking the dock site.

Having a big, occupied building there has helped cut down on trespassing and vandalism somewhat, but it also leaves the KFN’s new professional building overlooking what Knights called “an eyesore.”

The Langley Advance Times has reached out to the provincial government for comment on the future of the dock or a timeline for its removal.

READ MORE: Former road to ferry dock returned to Kwantlen First Nation

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

First NationsFort LangleyLangleyProvincial Government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thousands of dollars of stolen rice traced to Langley warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

Langley thieves make off with $10,000 worth of remote control cars

Police are also investigating the theft of a pair of commemorative bridge plaques

VIDEO: Man collapses on Langley street

Multiple police, fire and ambulance units responded to incident outside Timms community centre

Cautious driving urged during South Langley toad migration

Thousands of toads are expected to hatch and head into the woods

19 times on 19th birthday: Aldergrove teen goes from crutches to conquering Abby Grind

Kaden Van Buren started at midnight on Saturday. By 3 p.m. he had completed the trek 19 times.

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

UPDATE: Mission spray park closed after children suffer swollen eyes, burns

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner brings ‘objectivity’ to the job

Vancouver lawyer Reece Harding is Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner, also a first for B.C.

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

Professional basketball in Canada begins return to action with COVID-19 testing

Abbotsford’s Fraser Valley Bandits, six other CEBL teams arrive in Ontario for Summer Series

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

Most Read