THE Maple Ridge Council on Wednesday launched the Maple Ridge Moves campaign, aimed at securing provincial and federal funding for priority infrastructure projects that will improve access to frequent public transit service, new housing, jobs and green spaces in the community.
The City of Maple Ridge said it is ready and willing to welcome Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) – a new technology proposed in TransLink’s new 10-year expansion plan. BRT is one component of the Maple Ridge Moves Plan which will also see three other projects prioritized for partnership with other levels of government.
“With the Maple Ridge Moves plan, the City is taking action to ensure our community is positioned to manage population growth and a strong economy, while preserving the quality of life that our residents cherish,” said Maple Ridge Mayor Dan Ruimy. “Maple Ridge is ready to be one of the first in the region to bring Bus Rapid Transit to the city. The transportation improvements in the Maple Ridge Moves plan will enable residents to have access to faster and more frequent buses, better connecting the city centre to the rest of the Lower Mainland.”
The four projects identified in the City’s Maple Ridge Moves Plan include:
- TransLink’s development of Bus Rapid Transit lines along the northeast corridor to deliver new traffic separated bus routes linking both west to Coquitlam and south to Langley to connect with regional commuter rail networks. The two BRT lines are part of TransLink’s 10-year Access for Everyone plan.
- Enhancement and capacity expansion of Golden Ears Way west of 210 Street to unlock a critical bottleneck for the movement of goods and people in and out of the region.
- Construction of a new bridge at 240 Street across the South Alouette River to create a more direct access to Golden Ears Park and the growing Silver Valley neighbourhood. This will create a resilient alternate route out of the park and for neighbourhoods on the forest interface that are currently limited to a single road.
- Expansion of Abernethy Way east with three phases remaining on the project: to 256 Street (Phase One: 224 to 230 Street, Phase Two: 232 to 240 Street and Phase Three: 240 to 256 Street) to open up key regional industrial lands and create a new, more direct route to Golden Ears Park, BC’s most visited provincial park.
The Maple Ridge Moves plan offers substantial short-term and long-term benefits. The City is already committed to expanding the Abernethy Road network from 224 Street through to 230 Street, a project that is expected to be completed in early 2025.
“These projects support the growth of housing, jobs and sustainability both in the short and long term,” said Ruimy. “With this announcement, we will be seeking meetings with senior government colleagues to get these projects funded and built as fast as we can. Our goal is that by identifying a suite of smart and strategic projects that offer specific benefits locally and regionally, we will be able to move quickly from concept to construction.”
Ruimy noted: “Our community is the best place to champion the Bus Rapid Transit concept with separated lanes to move citizens from our growing civic centre to the centre of our neighbours in the Tri-Cities and Langley areas. Transit and growing the density along these routes go together to help create the housing and access that we need in the region. As we work to speed up the efficiency of bus transit service, we are providing more options for people to get around.”
He added: “UBCM is the perfect opportunity to advocate for these projects. We will be looking to head to Victoria and Ottawa this Fall to secure support for these initiatives. We are also looking forward to working with our local Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Business Improvement Association to help get these priorities in front of key provincial and federal partners.”
“It is wonderful to see the bold action being taken by Mayor and Council to work with other levels of government in securing critical transportation and infrastructure projects that will make doing business better in the city,” said Kristi Maier, Executive Director of the Ridge Meadows Chamber of Commerce. “These projects will mean more people can get to work more easily, will create more jobs and enable the critical movement of goods to market. The Chamber is in full support and look forward to working with the City on our mutual goals.”
The City has launched a web page at www.mapleridge.ca/moves to provide information on these priority infrastructure projects.
INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS BACKGROUND
Golden Ears Way Improvements
This corridor is a critical transportation link enabling the movement of goods and people in and out of the northeast area of the region. Congestion on Golden Ears Bridge and Golden Ears Way is increasing as our population continues to grow, with a major bottleneck north of Lougheed Hwy where Golden Ears Way reduces from four lanes to two lanes.
Abernethy Way expansion from 232 Street to 256 Street
Abernethy Way is a major transportation and economic link to the City’s primary industrial lands at 256 Street as well as a direct route to Golden Ears Park, the most attended provincial park in British Columbia with over 600,000 visitors per year. The City’s Transportation Improvement Strategy identifies this corridor, and especially the construction of the four-laning of Abernethy Way between 224 Street and 230 Street, as a pressing need for both local and inter-municipal traffic as well as providing secondary access to the rapidly developing growth area of Silver Valley that will ultimately house 11,000 residents.
Bridge over the South Alouette River
This project includes a new Alouette River crossing at the 240 Street alignment and supporting road improvements south to the proposed Abernethy Way extension. The City has completed a feasibility review of constructing a bridge at this location. The new bridge will provide alternative disaster emergency access into the Silver Valley and Rock Ridge neighbourhoods, and direct access to Golden Ears Provincial Park.
Bus Rapid Transit
As part of TransLink’s new ten-year plan Access for Everyone, the City of Maple Ridge will see two new BRT lines. The Langley – Haney Place BRT will connect the city centre of Langley and the city centre of Maple Ridge with a fully traffic-separated BRT line featuring dedicated bus lanes and transit signal priority across the 200 St – Golden Ears – Lougheed Highway corridor.
The Lougheed Hwy BRT will replace the existing R3 RapidBus connecting the city centre of Coquitlam and the city centre of Maple Ridge into a fully traffic-separated BRT line with dedicated bus lanes and transit signal priority across the length of the Lougheed corridor.