Low temperatures, snow, and now “extreme” wet weather have pushed reconstruction of 203rd Street and the Nicomekl River Bridge behind – even further than expected.
Despite repeated delays, however, the project is still on budget, said the City of Langley’s project manager Doug Hyde.
Work to retrofit a section of 203rd Street, from Michaud Crescent south to Grade Crescent, began in late August. The project includes upgrading and expansion of the traffic bridge, construction of a new roundabout at 53rd Avenue, replacement of sidewalks, and addition of a bicycle track the length of the project.
The road work is a multi-level government, two-phase upgrade worth $5.6 million, Hyde said. In summer 2015, when the project was announced, it was confirmed the City, province, and feds would each kick in $1.4 million, and Hyde said further monies have from TransLink and Cycle BC.
“I’m mighty confident we’re within that budget,” he said.
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The work was initially scheduled to be complete by the end of February. That deadline was later pushed back until the end of March when crews discovered some issues and upgrades needed to the bridge.
The concrete on the 40-year-old bridge was not a strong as necessary, and back in November, some cracks were uncovered that caused concern and further upgrades.
“It was in worse shape than we thought,” Hyde said. He noted that “some unforeseen deficiencies in the bridge” requiring some hand work and caused some more extensive delays, too.
Then, the team was faced with further challenges, with what Hyde described as a wicked winter that arrived on Dec. 3 and carried on for months.
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Now, he noted, the recent wet weather has been causing further delays in the way of paving, landscaping, and finishing.
Paving, for instance, is dependent on “optimal weather,” Hyde said.
“It’s been these types of things that have been challenging,” he added. “We really are fighting the rain right now.”
If all goes well from this point forward, and the weather cooperates, Hyde said he hopes to complete all the work by the first part of April.
Railings and street lights are currently being added to the bridge, while landscape and finishing touches continue on the stretch of 203rd Street south of the bridge to Grade.
“Fingers crossed and weather dependent, we’re hoping to open the facility to through traffic in mid-April,” he concluded.
As work wraps up on this City roadway project, Hyde is already gearing up for his next “big undertaking.”
A section of 56th Avenue, from Glover Road to the Langley Bypass is going to be redone.
That will kickoff with an unveiling on Friday, April 7, and be followed up by a public presentation and open house to seek input on Tuesday, April 11, at 6 p.m. in the City hall’s council chamber.
Hyde described it as the first of several downtown road initiative, and said he’d be working with area businesses and residents to ensure to minimize the impact on both.