Township is advising people to detour on 80 Avenue and 211 Street during construction on the new 216 Street interchange.

Township is advising people to detour on 80 Avenue and 211 Street during construction on the new 216 Street interchange.

Work gets underway on controversial 216 Street Interchange

216 Street at 83 Avenue will be closed starting May 29, with more traffic delays coming in summer

Work is now underway on the controversial 216 Street-Highway 1 interchange.

A road closure at 83 Avenue and 216 Street will be in effect beginning Monday, May 29. Construction will begin on the east side of 216 Street, with the interchange being constructed first.

Once work on the interchange is underway, highway lane widening will begin and will progress west, toward 200 Street.

During the road closure, access to residential properties on 216 and 83 will be maintained.

According to the Ministry of Transportation’s website, work on the $59 million interchange — toward which the Township contributed $14.3 million — will be completed by fall 2019.

Pre-loading activities will begin as well. Jakes Construction has been selected to complete the project.

According to the Ministry, over the next three months, residents of Langley will see: clearing on the north and south sides of the freeway at 216 Street to construct the interchange ramps, the forming of a five-metre berm, located between 214A and 216 Streets; construction of a new access road to the mushroom farm on 216 Street and preparation for highway lane widening in the centre median.

The Ministry said residents should expect lane reductions and traffic interruptions outside peak travel hours for the summer months.

An estimated 17,350 cars (originally estimated at 22,000) will use the new thoroughfare every day.

Residents along 216 Street hung a skull and crossbones banner on the Forest Hills subdivision sign to show their opposition to the interchange.

Several have expressed their opposition to Township council and have written numerous letters to the editor.

Retired couple Betty and Eugene Nelson, will see a noise abatement wall constructed less than 25 feet from their house. The couple, both 79, say new interchange has already devalued their home by $95,000.

Others have expressed concern about air quality and truck traffic, and the dangers they pose.

Despite several residents’ vocal opposition, the provincial government is moving ahead with the project.