Langley Township also calls for train warning signs

Electronic warning signs were to be placed in seven locations. Port Metro Vancouver says they will be installed this year.

Langley Township council is joining a Langley City call for construction of long-promised electronic warning signs.

The signs, designed to alert motorists when to divert to new overpasses to avoid delays at railway level crossings, were supposed to be installed by March of last year.

It never happened, because the cost of the high-tech signs turned out to be more than expected.

Langley City has written a letter to the project manager of the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor, demanding that it honour its promise to install electronic traffic signs on 200 Street, 208 Street and Logan Avenue in the City.

On learning that, Township Councillor Charlie Fox said the same demand should be made for the four planned sign locations in the Township — at 200 Street between 66 and 70 Avenues, Glover Road and Mufford Crescent, 56 Avenue and 211 Street and Fraser Highway and 210 Street.

The vote on Monday (Feb. 16), was unanimous.

The displays were supposed to be part of the $2.5 million Rail Crossing Information System (RCIS) that uses advanced motion detectors to predict when a train is going to pass through an at-grade rail crossing.

However, Langley City CAO Francis Cheung said the sign project included a budget of $3.8 million for the signs, but when they were put to tender, bids came in higher than anticipated.

The rail line through the Langleys currently carries up to 18 trains a day to and from the Deltaport container cargo and coal terminals, ranging from 6,000 to 9,500 feet in length.

That is expected to become up to 38 trains daily by 2021, with some trains as long as 12,000 feet.

Cliff Stewart, vice-president of infrastructure at Port Metro Vancouver, said at Tuesday’s Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce meeting that the warning signs will be in place by the end of this year.

He said he spoke with the administrators of both Langley Township and Langley City on Tuesday, assuring them that the signs will be put in place.

About 388,000 vehicles cross the tracks along the corridor every day, a number expected to rise to 560,000 by 2021.

— with files from Brenda Anderson