Sunbury Neighbourhood Association

 

Truck tunnel wanted

 
By Dan Ferguson
Staff Reporter

Jun 01 2005

Bury South Fraser Perimeter Road,¨residents say

Some North Delta residents say the long-discussed South Fraser Perimeter Road should run underground through their community, either through a tunnel or a cut-and-cover trench.
Without a tunnel, an assessment prepared by the Sunbury Neighbourhood Association warns the four-lane heavy truck route would only add to traffic congestion.
"Residents of River Road would be sandwiched between two routes," said Pat Lavery, one of two association members who presented their findings to Delta council Monday night.
Don Hunt, the other member, said the proposed truck route would cut a wide slash through the community, threatening historical sites and wildlife.
"Tunnelling would pay for itself in savings on fuel and time," Hunt argued.
It's estimated a tunnel could add $200 million to the $800-million cost of the project.
Council voted to back the residents' call, with Coun. Scott Hamilton winning applause when he told the crowd of more than 200 people who attended the presentation that "North Delta deserves a tunnel."
Coun. Bruce McDonald said he wasn't sure an underground route is possible given the cost, but steps must be taken to minimize impact.
If the four lanes run along the Fraser River shore, as currently proposed, "we are looking at an obliteration of everything along that river bank", McDonald said.
"I would love to say a tunnel or nothing, but West Vancouver did and they didn't win," McDonald commented.
Council was informed Monday that the Burlington Northern Railway is looking into building the road as an elevated route over top of the existing railroad right-of-way, something that has been discussed in the past as a less disruptive and less expensive alternative to expropriating existing properties.
That came from one of the owners of a property along the proposed route, Larry Reid, who said he was advised by highway planners that it will be at least five years before construction starts.
The 80-km/h perimeter road would run from Port Kells in Surrey, past the Burns Bog ecological reserve, all the way to Deltaport in Ladner.