Some projects will be completed up to a full year ahead of schedule
WITH schools closed and many residents working from home during COVID-19, the City of Surrey has strategically fast-tracked roadwork projects to take advantage of the 40% traffic volume reduction on roads.
Several projects scheduled for the summer months have been brought forward and the City has relaxed traffic restrictions on contractors by allowing full road closures on large projects, and extended work hours through typical peak times, to further increase project efficiencies.
“By taking full advantage of the reduced traffic volumes during COVID-19, we are able to fast-track a number of capital and regional projects that would have otherwise been constructed this summer through 2021,” said Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum.
“This forward-thinking approach will allow some projects to complete up to a full year ahead of schedule, while improving commuter experience and safety when restrictions ease. Not only have we been able to accelerate these projects, but we have continued to invest in our transportation networks in this time of pandemic.”
The City has accelerated several capital and regional projects:
- As a result of reduced traffic volume and the closure of Hjorth Road Elementary, the City has permitted a temporary road closure along 148th Street, between 100th Avenue and 108th Avenue for the construction of a major Metro Vancouver watermain along 148th Street from the Fraser River to 96th Avenue. This project was originally scheduled for construction in Summer 2020 and 2021. By facilitating the road closure, the project can accelerate and complete a full year ahead of schedule.
- In March, Council approved the 160th Street widening project from 26th Avenue to 32nd Avenue, valued at $8 million, involving the widening of 160th Street from two lanes to four lanes. A road closure has been permitted along 160th Street between 26th Avenue and 32nd Avenue, resulting from the temporary closure of Sunnyside Elementary School and Southridge School. The new completion timeline will allow the road work to be substantially completed before school commences in September, and the project will complete 100 workdays (50%) ahead of schedule.
- The District Energy Distribution Piping System Expansion project, approved by Council in April, along Fraser Highway between Whalley Boulevard and King George Boulevard has been permitted to close westbound on Fraser Hwy between King George Boulevard and Whalley Boulevard. This work will complete in July 2020, instead of September 2020 as a result of the full road closure.
- In April, Council approved the 2020 School and Transit Sidewalks Package, valued at $3.2 million, which involves the installation of sidewalks and road improvements located nearby schools. Projects surrounding schools are typically completed during school summer break, however as a result of the Surrey school closures, construction has been prioritized and is now underway.
The City is reviewing additional opportunities to accelerate roadworks in the coming weeks and months.