Langley City is getting its first roundabout, intended to ease traffic flow at the intersection of 203rd Street and 53rd Avenue.
The City along with the province and federal government announced the project with each pitching in $1.4 million.
City Mayor Ted Schaffer said that in addition to injecting $6.5 into the area economy, the project will help with traffic flow, and make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to travel the corridor.
“Before the project breaks ground, the City will consult with the community,” Schaffer said.
The project involves a traffic circle or roundabout at 53rd Avenue, widening of 203rd Street from 53rd Avenue to just south of the bridge over the Nicomekl River and widening of the 40-year-old bridge. That should extend the bridge’s lifespan another three to four decades.
The project includes dedicated bike lanes on that stretch of road.
The City had the bridge upgrade on its capital priorities list.
“Langley identified this as a priority,” said MP Mark Warawa, representing the federal government at Friday’s announcement.
Langley MLA Mary Polak noted this kind of announcement would not be possible if the three levels of government did not have their books in order.
“If it wasn’t for governments watching the pennies, we wouldn’t have these announcements,” she said.
Warawa said there would be other funding announcements around the province in the coming weeks.
The money is from the Small Communities Fund that’s part of Build Canada, the infrastructure fund.
Project manager Doug Hyde said the use of a roundabout instead of traffic lights has several benefits. The City will not longer have to maintain and service the traffic lights and traffic flow will be smoother. People don’t sit at traffic lights idling so it’s better for the environment, he said.
“It’s a busy corridor,” Hyde noted.
The roundabout will have accommodation so cyclists and pedestrians can use it safely.
It will be single lane and the largest vehicles that could use it are buses.
There’s no dates set but the City will be announcing public consultation on the proposed project.
The City started working on the proposal about five months ago. Under the infrastructure program, the City must complete the project by 2017 or lose out on the funds.
“We’re hopeful that it will be completed by fall of 2016,” said Rick Bomhof, the City director of engineering.