Plan calls for partial widening of 208th Street

A four-year plan looks at ways to expand the busy Willoughby road.

Langley Township council has put together a plan to widen remaining parts of 208th Street, but it may still be three or four years until significant work is done on some sections.

A new report presented Monday afternoon showed areas of 208th Street in Willoughby that are expected to be widened by developers soon, in several cases north of 76th Avenue within the next year.

The plan called for money to be put aside in four phases:

• $1 million in the 2019 budget for design for the east side of 208th Street from 68th to 76th Avenue

• $2.1 million in the 2019 budget for work on 83rd to 84th Avenue

• $10.7 million in the 2020 budget for work from 64th to 68th Avenue

• $23 million in the 2021 budget for construction from 68th to 76th Avenue

Some of the areas targeted are properties where there does not appear to be a chance of development in the near future, filling in a few gaps between stretches of road that have already been widened by developers.

Filling in a few of the gaps would create a full four lane road north of 80th Avenue, and eventually from 76th Avenue.

“We’d be seeking to accelerate… where we possibly can,” Township adminstrator Mark Bakken noted of some of those stretches.

“This has been under active discussion for quite some time,” said Councillor Petrina Arnason, who had asked for the updated report on the street.

The total cost could be more than $83 million to widen the entire stretch from the Willowbrook Connector through Willoughby, largely due to increasing land prices, Coun. Blair Whitmarsh noted.

He said future councils will look at the report at each budget cycle to decide what they can afford.

The Township will look at acquiring rights of way from landowners to see if they can reduce the cost of the project. Gaining a right of way would be much cheaper than buying land outright.

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