Sunbury Neighbourhood Association

the PROVINCE - April 07, 2006

MORE GROUPS PROTESTING THE GATEWAY PROGRAM

Frank Luba, The Province

Published: Friday, April 07, 2006

Delta resident Don Hunt doesn't like what the $3-billion Gateway Program transportation plan is going to do to his community.

Hunt is a member of Sunbury Neighbourhood Association, which encompasses historic Annieville.

While the most controversial part of Gateway is the twinning of the Port Mann Bridge and widening of the Trans-Canada Highway from Langley to Vancouver, another component of the program is the South Fraser Perimeter Highway along the south side of the Fraser River.

That route links Deltaport Way in southwest Delta to the connector road for the coming Golden Ears Bridge over the Fraser between Surrey/Langley and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows.

About four kilometres of the 80-km/h, four-lane highway goes through Hunt's neighbourhood, at a cost of about $161 million.

Hunt wants a tunnel, which could cost as much as $400 million, to protect the trees and habitat along the Fraser, save homes and protect seven ravines along the route.

"They are going against the environmental strategies of every level of government," said Hunt.

At the invitation of a new coalition opposed to Gateway called Gateway 20, public transportation advocate Eric Doherty will talk about alternatives to the program at tomorrow's open house on the plan at the Guildford Recreation Centre.

Donna Passmore of the Fraser Valley Conservation Coalition, which is part of Gateway 20, said the fight against Gateway is growing: "This is going to make Clayoquot Sound look like a church picnic."

Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon is undeterred: "This is the Lower Mainland, though, and in the Lower Mainland you will always have people protesting any decision you make."

fluba@png.canwest.com

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