File photo

Electronic rail crossing signs finally coming to Langley

Years after they were supposed to be installed, intelligent signs to be in operation by December

The long awaited electronic rail crossing warning signs will finally be installed in the Langleys.

On Jan. 11, the B.C. government announced that six new motorist advisory signs will be built at road and railway crossings in Langley City and Township and in Surrey as part of the Railway Crossing Information System project.

These signs, which will operate through a central control system and provide drivers with real-time train crossing information, were supposed to be installed years ago with the Roberts Bank corridor overpasses that were built in the Township and on the border between Langley City and Surrey.

But when the project was put out to tender in the fall of 2014, the bids received were well over the $3.8 million budget.

Four years later, and the civil works contract has been awarded to Surrey company Crown Contracting Limited at a value of $1.7 million. The remaining budget will go towards the central control system.

The signs are expected to be operational by December 2018.

“It’s been a long time coming and I’m looking forward to when they’re up and in operation,” said Langley City Mayor Ted Schaffer.

“It should be a real positive for the community once they’re up and going. It has been a long time and people do get frustrated with the railway crossings, but you can only work with what you have, and the City is continuously working with the other parties to make things happen.”

READ MORE: Train warning signs held back due to costs

READ MORE: Overpass projects well underway

Rail traffic through the community is expected to double by 2021, with up to 38 trains passing through on any given day. Currently, there are as many as 22 train crossing each day.

The signs will help drivers make informed decisions by stating if crossings are open or closed, and specifying the train’s location and travel direction.

“These motorist advisory signs are a great example of how new transportation technology can improve the day-to-day lives of the people who live in high-traffic, trade-oriented communities,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena in a press release.

“The Province will continue to work with our partners when it comes to innovating beneficial transportation solutions.”

TransLink is providing $2.9 million in funding for the project, while the provincial government, Transport Canada and Vancouver Fraser Port Authority are each providing $300,000.

“The Railway Crossing Information System is a critical piece of the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor program that will help drivers make informed choices when planning their route to minimize delays by rerouting to one of the eight new overpass crossings,” said Kevin Desmond, CEO of TransLink, in a press release.

“This is another example of business and government coming together to improve travel on major road arterials.”



miranda@langleytimes.com

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