Construction workers poured concrete for foundations of a new condo complex in Willoughby in late February

Cold winter puts Langley on pause

Building and events have been delayed around Langley due to the harsher than normal weather.

The snow is gone, the ice has melted, but across Langley people are digging out from under a mountain of delayed work.

From housing construction to civic works to recreation, weeks of snow and freezing temperatures have caused numerous delays.

Housing construction projects have been set back across the region.

“It’s just unexpected, you know, that it would be so sustained,” said Peter Warkentin of Quadra Homes.

Quadra was starting on a condo project in Willoughby, and was working on the foundations.

In a normal winter, there might be some days that work had to stop or slow, but since December, some projects have lost two months of work.

“This year’s just been too severe for us to deal with, with remedial measures,” said Warkentin.

The snow and extreme cold put a halt to cement pouring, brick laying, and excavation.

Projects where the building’s exterior was already finished continued.

Builders who had pre-sold homes were giving notice to the incoming home owners that move-in dates would be delayed.

Both users and builders of parks have seen closures and delays.

“It’s certainly affected us and our contractors,” said Al Neufeld, who heads Township parks design and development. “We’ve got a number of projects that have been delayed because of frozen ground conditions.”

One of those projects is an amphitheatre under construction at Willoughby Park as a Canada 150 project.

The 200-seat facility being built with federal grants has been pushed back because it was too cold and wet to pour cement.

A water park and playground at W.C. Blair Recreation Centre was to begin work in December, but didn’t start until February.

Sports fields were closed for two weekends in late January and early February, as the latest major round of snow hit the Lower Mainland, said Tab Buckner, Langley Township’s manager of parks.

The snow and ice have been so bad, they could delay the start of spring and summer pastimes like baseball.

“We have to prepare the infields for baseball,” Buckner said.

There are 60 ball diamonds in Township parks and the aim was to have them all ready for mid-April.

Some parking lots at parks weren’t cleared, as Township snow plows were dedicated to roads.

Normally, youth and adult rec soccer runs through January in the Lower Mainland.

“It’s been a challenge this year,” said Marcel Horn, president of Langley United Youth Soccer Association (LUYSA).

Overall, 3,100 players were affected just in the LUYSA.

Photos on the LUYSA Facebook page kept parents and players up to date on the field conditions by simply showing a ruler buried in snow, up to 13 inches at some fields in early February.

The leagues the LUYSA kids play in elected to wipe out two to three weekends of missed games from the schedule.

“That comes at the cost of condensed weekends,” Horn said. The league will try to fit in missed games elsewhere in the schedule, but he noted that’s a “planning nightmare.”

The only saving grace is that it’s Lower Mainland-wide. The 2016/17 winter has been the worst season anyone can recall, Horn said.